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HomemizoramMizoram: Ruling MNF manifesto promises 'unification' of Zo people under one administration

Mizoram: Ruling MNF manifesto promises 'unification' of Zo people under one administration

Guwahati: The poll manifesto of ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram has promised to unite the Zofa or people belonging to Zo community under one administration, if it forms a government forthe second straight term.

The manifesto promised that Zofas or Zohnahthlaks, scattered in various countries, will be united under one government with “higher authority” in accordance with the UN’s 2007 Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People. A copy of the 10-page manifesto was shared on social media by Mizoram CM and MNF President Zoramthanga.

Although the manifesto did not elaborate about the promise, a MNF leader on Wednesday toldDHthatthe promisewas referring to unification of the greater Zo communities such as the Mizos of Mizoram, Kukis in Manipur, Chins in Myanmar and Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

He, however, refused to elaborate how a regional party would unite people living in other countries.

“Protection and welfare of the Zo people is MNF’s biggest priority. That’s the reason, our government has provided shelters to over 30,000 Chin refugees who fled military ruled Myanmar and some from Bangladesh. We have also provided shelters to over 12,000 Kukis who were displaced due to violence in Manipur,” he said.

The promise comes at a time when Kukis in violence-hit Manipur are demanding a “separate administration” for them in the state. Zoramthanga also openly extended his support to the demand even as the Centre rejected the same and asked the Mizoram government to prevent influx of refugees from Myanmar.

MNF is an ally of the NDA but BJP is not part of the Mizoram government. The MNF defeated 10-year-old Congress government in 2018 elections.

The MNF has made “unification of the Zofas” as the biggest poll plank for Assembly elections scheduled on November 7.

The Opposition Congress, on the other hand, skipped the issue and its manifesto made promises such as LPG at Rs 750, health insurance upto Rs 15 lakh, beside others.

The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), another regional party, which MNF considers as its main contender, claims that people would vote for ZPM as they are “fed up with false promises” of MNF and Congress, the parties which won elections since Mizoram became a state in 1987.

The MNF manifesto also promised to implement all the clauses of the Mizo Peace Accord of 1986, which ended the 20-year-long Mizo Insurgency. The party also promised to continue the work for protection of its borders, beside others.

A total of 174 candidates including 18 women are in the fray for 40-member Mizoram Assembly. MNF and ZPM are contesting in all 40 seats while BJP and Aam Aadmi Party have put up 23 and four candidates each. There are 27 Independent candidates contesting the polls. The state has 8.57 lakh voters this time.

(Published 25 October 2023, 13:46 IST)

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