Mizoram govt to take oath sans BJP MLA

Zoramthanga addressing MLAs in MNF headquarters in Aizawl. Photo by Puia Changgte, Aizawl

The Mizo National Front (MNF) government led by Zoramthanga will take oath on Saturday but the party denied the involvement of the lone BJP MLA in the new Mizoram government.

MNF general secretary, Pachunga told DH from Aizawl that Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan invited 74-year-old Zoramthanga to take oath after he met the latter, who staked claim to form the new government.

“Since we have the numbers, we will form the government with all MNF MLAs only. The BJP MLA will not be part of the government,” he said adding that the 26 newly elected legislators chose Zoramthanga as their leader before he met the Governor on Tuesday evening.

The 44-year-old Buddha Dhan Chakma, a former fishery minister under the Congress government became first BJP MLA in the Christian-majority Mizoram by winning the Tuichwang constituency.

Chakma, a doctor by profession, who represents the Buddhist Chakma community, switched over to the BJP just before the November 28 elections claiming that the minority community was ‘discriminated’ by the Congress government.  

The BJP had banked on the nearly 1.20-lakh Chakmas in Mizoram, who have always complained that they are discriminated and insulted as ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh’ by the majority Mizos.

Nearly 97% of the 11-lakh Mizoram population are Mizos. The BJP had contested in 39 seats.

Sources said that the BJP MLA is eager to join the government but the MNF is reluctant as it flags the regional sentiment of the Mizos.

The regional MNF stormed back to power on Tuesday by winning 26 of the 40 seats, after a gap of 10-years.

The MNF was in power between 1998 to 2008. The ruling Congress, which wrested power from MNF in 2013 with 34 seats, was reduced to just five.  

The MNF, which led the 20-year-long violent Mizo Movement, joined politics following the signing of Mizo Accord with the former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.

Former rebel leader Laldenga was elected as the chief minister in 1987 but his death in 1990 passed on the MNF mantle to his next man Zoramthanga.

90% MLAs crorepatis

Majority of Mizoram MLAs are young, wealthy and highly educated.

An analysis of the affidavits of the newly elected MLAs by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that 36 of the 40 Mizoram MLAs or 90% of them are crorepatis.

The same was 75% in 2013.

It said that 22 of the 26 MNF MLAs are crorepatis with Robert Romawia Royte, the owner of the Aizwal Football Club being the richest with declared property worth Rs. 44.74 crores.

The MLAs declared an average property worth Rs. 4.48 crore. All five elected Congress MLAs are also crorepatis.

The analysis found that 29 (73%) MLAs are graduate or above and 30 (76%) are aged between 30 to 60 years.

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Mizoram govt to take oath sans BJP MLA

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