Mizoram opposition to form united front to challenge Congress

March 16th, 2009 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Aizawl, March 16 (IANS) The opposition in Mizoram is attempting to forge a combined front to challenge the ruling Congress in next month’s parliamentary elections and the by-poll for one assembly seat.
“The opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) has decided to form a united front with other regional parties to fight the Congress candidate,” said MNF general secretary Lalhmingliana, who is also the Rajya Sabha member from Mizoram.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, MNF candidate Vanlalzawma won the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat defeating Laltluangliana Khiangte (Independent) by a margin of more than 23,000 votes.

While regional parties like the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) led by former chief minister Brig T. Sailo has agreed to the alliance, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), another state party, is yet to decide on the move.

“Leaders of the three parties - MNF, MPC and ZNP - would soon meet to work out the formation of the united front,” Sailo told journalists Monday.

The ruling Congress has announced the name of 73-year-old C.L. Ruala for the Lok Sabha seat and John Siamkunga for the South Tuipui assembly by-poll.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already announced that it would support any non-Congress formation during the polls.

In the assembly polls in December last year, the ZNP, MPC and other regional parties got together under the aegis of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) but managed to win only four seats in the 40-member state legislature. The Congress won 32 seats.

The MNF had earlier announced that it would boycott the polls if Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were used.

“The EVMs can be tampered with by the ruling party to manipulate the result,” said MNF secretary Vanlalruata.

“Checking of EVMs and demonstrations of voting procedures are underway across the state,” Mizoram’s chief electoral officer Lalmalsawma told reporters in Aizawl. “There has been no evidence that EVMs can be tampered with.”

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