AIZAWL, Dec 5 � With Assembly elections round the corner, Hmar politicians of the now splintered Hmar People�s Convention (HPC) are trying for unity to strengthen their demand for implementation of the 1994 Peace Accord signed by the Government of Mizoram with the HPC.
The HPC Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) Implementation Demand Committee (MoSIDC) set up last July with S Khuma as chairman and James Hrangchal as secretary is ready to reach out to New Delhi in their bid to bring the Sinlung Hills Development Council under the Sixth Schedule as agreed upon in the MoS.
They castigated the State Government for failing to hold elections for the Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) for the last 18 years, though the guidelines for the council had been notified on September 10, 2008 in the Mizoram Gazette. This is different from the village council elections which could not be held in the area till date.
This development comes close on the heels of the Government of Mizoram decision to start negotiations with the armed HPC-Democractic (HPC-D) on December 13, according to a source.
The MoSIDC chairman Khuma told The Assam Tribune today that the Council was set up since neither the HPC, which is a registered political party now nor the various chairmen of the SHDC had seen fit to get the MoS implemented.
Eighteen years have passed by without the MoS being implemented, except for the setting up of the SHDC office in Aizawl where the government appointed chairman sits.
�People have nothing to do with the present SHDC as the chairman is appointed by the government as per their own wish, no elections have ever been held,� said Khuma.
�We want the area to be declared under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution as agreed in the MoS, and the area demarcated, � said Khuma, adding that this Committee was scheduled to visit New Delhi to take up the issue directly with the Central Government. In fact, they claimed to already have the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose leader, Rajnath Singh, had visited Sakawrdai in 2008 to back their demand for declaring the area under the Sixth Schedule. With elections round the corner, it�s certain that the BJP would fish in the State�s troubled ethnic pool for votes.
He said that they had submitted memoranda to the Chief Minister, Home Minister and the Governor, but no reply had been received. The attempts to meet the political leaders of the State has failed so far, he said.
�The government simply appoints their own man as chairman, and this is why we demand elections to the Council,� James Hrangchal, secretary of MoSIDC said. He opined that the HPC leaders were lured by the party in power, presently the Congress who bought their loyalty by giving them the chair of SHDC.
MoSIDC has called a meeting of the factional leaders namely Rosiama and Thanglianchhunga to a meeting where they want them to iron out disagreements.
The advisor of the MoSIDC, J Laldinliana, a founder of the HPC said that they they had reached the end of their patience and decided to take the matter into their own hands to get it done.
When asked about their position on the armed HPC-D which is also fighting for the same cause, Hrangchal said that �it is true that we all want the same thing, but our difference is that when we signed the MoS we gave up the violent method and opted for the peaceful democratic way of getting our rights.�
They also plan to meet the �scheduled tribes of the southern autonomous councils to chalk out a joint future strategy,� they said.
The HPC is a registered political party. The HPC-D split from the HPC in 1986 over slow implementation of the MoS.