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Strong support at grassroots will help secure win: Mizoram Congress

From Our Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI: Mizoram Congress has exuded confidence that its strength at the grassroots level and high morale of the field workers will help the party to not only secure power for the third consecutive time but also to “defeat” any wave that BJP might claim to get a toehold in the Christian state.
The assertion comes despite the party now having a depleted incumbent MLA team of 28 (down from 34) and some serious challengers in the opposite camp, including its traditional and principal rival, the Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front (MNF).
“We are very confident of retaining political power for the third time and the reason I say that is because we are still very strong at the grassroots. The morale of the party workers is very high and the campaign has gained momentum particularly after the exit of former home minister, R. Lalzirliana and former health minister, Lalrinliana Sailo from the party,” Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson, Lallianchhunga told The Shillong Times on Wednesday.
“The two leaders who have left Congress and joined MNF did not work for the party properly in the past one year. In fact, Lalzirliana who was appointed the campaign committee chairman did not convene a single meeting. So, the party is in a way cleansed by God (after their exit),” he said.
The prediction of the party doing well in the November 28 Assembly elections, the Congress spokesperson said, is based on the feedback provided by surveillance teams spread across the state. “Whenever any public meeting is held in these areas, there are more Congress supporters, our surveillance teams spread across the nook and corner of the state, say,” he said.
It may be mentioned that Congress president, Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to visit Mizoram for campaigning on November 20.
Lallianchhunga, however, admitted that apprehension of a Meghalaya or Nagaland like scenario, where BJP is part of the government, loomed.
“This is what we fear as whenever BJP is part of the government, the dignity and influence of the Church will always be at stake. But we are certain that with the help of God we can stop BJP national president, Amit Shah’s magic. We are going to defend the dignity of the Church,” he said.
Alleging a “secret understanding” between MNF and BJP under North East Democratic Alliance, the Congress spokesperson said that a Tripura BJP leader had recently admitted that there was a secret pact between the two parties. “We also know that BJP leaders are fully entrusted by the central BJP to take care of the state elections,” he said.
On how many seats Congress was expecting to win the polls, he assessed that the party should win between 25 and 30 seats.
Regarding the agenda if Congress comes to power, Lallianchunga said that the party had released its poll manifesto on November 1.
“The new land use policy and new economic development policy will be continued. Free medical reimbursement under the converged schemes of Mizoram Health Care Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana has now been increased up to Rs 5 lakh,” he said.
The manifesto says that focus would be given on generation of more power from solar plants while implementing the hydro-electric projects.
“Project assessment and monitoring committee” will be constituted to study, approve and monitor development projects and that the State Planning Board will be strengthened for the purpose, it said.
“Priority will be given for development of the tourism industry. There is a plan to upgrade the Mizoram Institute of Medical Education and Research to one of the best medical colleges in the country. Besides, efforts will be made for implementation of the recommendations of the Mizoram Education Reforms Commission,” he said.

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