The Congress, which ruled Mizoram for around 22 years, has announced a manifesto that balances its core principle of social justice with the BJP platform of corruption-free governance.
The Mizo National Front, which came to power in 2018 in alliance with the BJP, putting an end to the 10-year rule of Congress’s iconic chief minister Lal Thanhawla, is hoping for another term in the state’s binary politics where the ruling party is given two terms before being shown the door.
The Congress, which is hoping to break the trend, has offered the usual bouquet of promises — subsidised cooking gas, pension or the elderly, widows and the disabled, health insurance coverage of Rs 15 lakh, special schemes of farmers and entrepreneurs and better public infrastructure in the hill state.
Promising to establish an efficient, transparent and corruption-free government, in its 12-page manifesto, the Congress said if voted to power, it would strengthen grassroots democracy by giving more power, responsibilities and financial resources to the village councils and local bodies.
On Sunday, Congress’s Rahul Gandhi held a footmarch in state capital Aizawl, where he promised to uphold the state’s culture, language, traditions, and religion”.
This year’s election in Mizoram, though, is expected to be multi-cornered, with the new, rising regional party Zoram People’s Movement projecting a young face for the state’s top job, and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party announcing its decision to contest.
In 2018, the Mizo National Front bagged 26 of the 40 assembly seats, with a vote share of 37.8 per cent. The Congress secured five seats and the BJP won one seat.
Assembly elections will be held in Mizoram on November 7. Four other states are going to polls in this round – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. The counting of votes will take place on December 3.