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PRISM gears up for polls with “weed-out graft” agenda

“We can make a difference by being in the political spectrum”

From Saurav Borah

GUWAHATI: From a whistle-blower group for over a decade now, to a political party formed last year, People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) has a clear-cut agenda as it gears up to contest its maiden Assembly elections on November 28.

“We want to change the political system, for which we have the support of the people. Our main agenda is to weed out corruption and take Mizoram ahead in the development path,” PRISM president, Vanlal Ruata told The Shillong Times over phone on Saturday.

The party is confident that it can make a marked difference in the political spectrum, by being a part of it, rather than from outside, like it has been trying since 2006.

“We started as (RTI) activists eyeing a change in the system back in 2006. But we realised that our activism took us to a certain distance only, because when it came to taking action against the people charge sheeted, the government had failed to take any action, time and again. So, we decided to form a political party last year to effectively carry forward what we have been doing so far,” the PRISM chief said.

The party, it may be noted, had recently filed counter affidavits against 27 candidates, including incumbent chief minister, Lal Thanhawla, claiming that the candidates had provided “false affidavits” to the poll authorities.

Thirteen candidates from PRISM are contesting the Assembly elections, with Vanlal Ruata contesting from two constituencies, Serchhip and Aizawl North I.

“We are confident of winning six to seven seats in the upcoming polls. Our candidates and party workers are going house to house and meeting people during the poll campaign. Now, since they know us and our work, they relate to us as their representative and trust what we commit and do,” he said.

Asked whether it has any plans to be in the government in the event of an alliance, Vanlal Ruata categorically ruled out the prospect. “There is no question of being in an alliance government. We would rather prefer to be active in the opposition and keep the government honest,” he said.

On the NGO and civil society groups’ preference for the Bru voters to exercise their franchise in Mizoram, the PRISM leader, however, abstained from comment. “We have been silent on this issue and prefer to be so now,” he said.

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