Mizoram chief minister, Zoramthanga, on Saturday said that his party, Mizo National Front (MNF), will not leave the BJP-led NDA and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA). He said combating alcoholism and drug addiction would be one of the top priorities of his government and it would take up development projects from day one.
"There is no intention at this juncture to leave the NDA and NEDA", he told reporters at Raj Bhavan in Aizwal after taking oath as the new chief minister of the state.
This is his third stint as Mizoram chief minister. With the thumping victory in the Assembly elections, Zoramthanga has bounced back to power after 10 years. In the elections for the 40-member Assembly, Zoramthanga’s MNF won 26 seats while the Congress party was reduced to just five seats.
Although facing criticism from certain sections in the Christian-dominated state for joining hands with the BJP, Zoramthanga said the MNF's ties with the NDA and NEDA will continue. He said that the main thrust of his government would be economic development.
"With vast lands available for cultivation, we hope to increase the per capita income so that it is among the highest in the country," he said.
"Combating alcoholism and drug addiction would be one of the top priorities of the MNF ministry," Zoramthanga said, adding that rehabilitation facilities would be established for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
He emphasized the need for good roads saying that efforts would be made to repair the highways while sports and information technology would be accorded priority to benefit the youths.
He announced that Hnahthial, Khawzawl and Saitual would be made separate districts as declared by the previous MNF government in 2008.
The Congress government did not implement the decision taken by the MNF ministry. Construction of elevated roads and parking lots would be taken up to make the capital Aizawl a traffic jam-free city, he added.
No party in the state has so far been able to form a government thrice in a row since 1987 when Mizoram became a full-fledged state.
The MNF, previously an underground outfit, had signed the Mizo Accord in 1986 with the central government renouncing secession and violence and its leader Laldenga became the chief minister. The MNF led by Zoramthanga, a former underground, had won the assembly elections in 1998 and 2003. It is now a constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), formed by the BJP.
The MNF bagged 37.6 per cent votes as against 30.2 per cent secured by the Congress.
The MNF, at a meeting of its newly-elected legislators after the declaration of Assembly election results, had unanimously elected Zoramthanga as the leader of the MNF legislature party.