Miz Assembly polls: MNF, Cong tie-up with smaller parties

The ruling Mizoram National Front (MNF) in the state, which retained power on its own in 2003, has now decided to continue its ties with the MCP and forge an alliance with smaller political outfits to come back to power for the third consecutive term in the November Assembly polls.

Aizawal, Oct 24: The ruling Mizoram National Front
(MNF) in the state, which retained power on its own in 2003,
has now decided to continue its ties with the MCP and forge an
alliance with smaller political outfits to come back to power
for the third consecutive term in the November Assembly polls.

Facing a strong anti-incumbency wave after ruling
Mizoram for the past ten years, the MNF has decided to have an
electoral tie-up with the Mara Democratic Front (MDF) in South
Mizoram and the Hmar People`s Convention (HPC) in Aizawal
district.

The ruling front will also continue its ties with the
Mizoram Congress Party to secure the magic figure of 21 in the
40-member Assembly, for which the elections will be held on
November 29.

The principal Opposition party Congress has also
entered into an electoral alliance with the Mipui Tangrual
Pawl (MTP) or People`s Front by alloting six seats to it.

The MTP, led by Mizoram Journalists Union President K
Sapdanga, is an organisation formed by reformists and youths
in the state to ensure political reforms and good governance.

Hurdles in a tie-up between the Congress and the MTP
was created by a former legislator and MTP leader Bualhranga,
who along with Rev. Zairema had filed a PIL against former
chief minister and present PCC chief Lal Thanhawla in 1996 on
graft charges.

The case is still pending against Lal Thanhawla in a
Special Court.

Sources said Congress wanted to have candidates with
clean images like two former IAS officers Rualzakhuma and
Sailova in the fray, but they refused to contest the elections
with the party`s support.

The Mizoram People`s Conference (MPC) and the Zoram
Nationalist Party (ZNP) are fighting the coming elections
under the banner of `United Democratic Alliance` (UDA).

They have projected former chief minister Brigadier
Thenphunga Sailo of the MPC and Lalduhoma of the ZNP as its
chief ministerial and Deputy Chief Ministerial candidates.

Though smaller parties like the BJP and Lok Janshakti
Party say that they will be in the fray, political analysts
say the contest would be confined to the MNF, the Congress and
the UDA.

The MCP was formed three years ago by senior Congress
leaders who were not happy with the functioning of Lal
Thanhawla. The party was floated by former state Finance
Minister and veteran Congressman John Lalsangzuala.

Two Congress legislators, Saikapthianga and Liansuama,
who left the Congress along with the MCP leadership, resigned
from the state legislature and were re-elected from their
respective seats Kawrthah and Phuldungsei constituencies in
2005 with the support of the MNF.

Saikapthianga re-joined the Congress this year along
with Lalsangzuala and other top leaders, after resigning from
the assembly, while Liansuama continued to be unattached.

However, L T Zothankhuma and T C Pachhunga refused to
re-merge with the Congress and decided to continue its ties
with the ruling MNF.

The MNF has also forged alliance with the HPC for
votes of the Hmars in the north eastern part of the state
adjoining neighbouring Manipur.

The HPC agreed to support MNF candidates in the area,
while the latter promised to fulfill the provisions of the
Mizoram government-HPC accord, signed in 1994.

The MNF and MDF is likely to have a seat-sharing
arrangement in Saiha district where the two combines are
likely to share the assembly seats.

The MPC and ZNP combine had contested the 2003 state
Assembly polls, but managed to bag only five seats.

Alliances and coalition governments are not new in
this tiny hill state.

The first government, after Mizoram attained full
fledged statehood in 1987, was formed by the MNF led by the
late leader Laldenga after the Mizo Convention and the Mizo
Peace Forum merged with the MNF.

The Congress government in 1989 was a coalition of
the party and the MNF (Democrats), a break-away group of the
MNF and the Congress retained power in 1993 after forging
alliance with Brig. T. Sailo`s Mizoram Janata Dal (MJD).

The MNF bounced back to power under the leadership
of Zoramthanga in 1998 after forging an alliance with Brig.
Sailo`s party -- Mizoram People`s Conference.

The MNF retained power in 2003 on its own and
formed a coalition with the Mara Democratic Front (MDF) which
managed to bag a single seat in those polls.

Political analysts predict a hung assembly even after
the alliances being forged by bigger and smaller parties as
people seem to have been extremely "displeased" with the
performances of successive governments.

Bureau Report

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