Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Poll campaign concludes in Mizoram

By Linda Chhakchhuak

AIZAWL, Nov 23 � Poll campaigning drew to a close this evening as Mizoram goes into the silence of pre-poll mode. But not before the drama of armed gunmen being espied in one of the �sensitive� constituencies Chalfilh, near the Manipur border, with the parties accusing each other of conniving with the armed militants.

A farmer was allegedly shot in the calf when he refused to go along with the armed men who wanted him to show them the way.

Though the Congress party did not say it, their press statement pointed an accusatory finger against the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) as the ones in cahoots with the militants. But this was thrown back at them by ZNP leaders at a press conference on Thursday calling the Congress party the �drama makers� who used fake militants to stage a kidnapping in the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, the campaign was low key both because of the overpowering presence of election watchdogs ranging from observers from the Election Commission to the local Church-based platform called the Mizoram People�s Front (MPF). The MPF held public platforms for candidates, each given a chance to say their piece and then field questions from the public. However, politicians and party workers of all hues felt restricted by the dozens of dos and donts. Some are even asking if the whole process is stifling the peoples� expressions.

With hardly any major issues on the plank, on November 25, the 6,86,305 strong electorate is eligible to choose their representatives from among the 142 candidates from the Congress, Mizo National Front-Mizoram People�s Conference poll alliance, the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA). Christian-dominated Mizoram has 40 Assembly seats.

�I don�t even know who the candidates are in my constituency,� said Pari, a shopkeeper in the city. Aside of the party workers and the politicians who have been engaged in an unending paper-war through press releases, people seem jaded. �We want a good government and good people, but I don�t know if we can get one this time,� is how a college student, Ruata put it.

The main contenders for power are the Congress, the MDA and the ZNP, the last being the dark horse. While observers give the Congress an easy win with a few seats dropped, some drastic last minute changes in voter behaviour may tip the balance for the underdogs in many of the constituencies where winning hangs on a hair split balance, said a young ZNP party worker. He had just returned from campaigning in Kolasib where his president, Lalduhawma is pitched in a three cornered poll battle.

Party manifestos are more or less alike, except for the fact that the Congress lays stress in the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), laying prime claim. The Congress promised to ensure jobs, complete three major hydel projects and split any revenue from gas and oil 50:50 between Mizoram and the Centre. This statement by Sonia Gandhi during her campaign here has been ridiculed as another �Congress lie� as such decisions need to be taken by the Parliament and not a party president.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi also campaigned one after the other in a show of power.

More in Entertainment
Next Story
Similar Posts
Poll campaign concludes in Mizoram

AIZAWL, Nov 23 � Poll campaigning drew to a close this evening as Mizoram goes into the silence of pre-poll mode. But not before the drama of armed gunmen being espied in one of the �sensitive� constituencies Chalfilh, near the Manipur border, with the parties accusing each other of conniving with the armed militants.

A farmer was allegedly shot in the calf when he refused to go along with the armed men who wanted him to show them the way.

Though the Congress party did not say it, their press statement pointed an accusatory finger against the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) as the ones in cahoots with the militants. But this was thrown back at them by ZNP leaders at a press conference on Thursday calling the Congress party the �drama makers� who used fake militants to stage a kidnapping in the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, the campaign was low key both because of the overpowering presence of election watchdogs ranging from observers from the Election Commission to the local Church-based platform called the Mizoram People�s Front (MPF). The MPF held public platforms for candidates, each given a chance to say their piece and then field questions from the public. However, politicians and party workers of all hues felt restricted by the dozens of dos and donts. Some are even asking if the whole process is stifling the peoples� expressions.

With hardly any major issues on the plank, on November 25, the 6,86,305 strong electorate is eligible to choose their representatives from among the 142 candidates from the Congress, Mizo National Front-Mizoram People�s Conference poll alliance, the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA). Christian-dominated Mizoram has 40 Assembly seats.

�I don�t even know who the candidates are in my constituency,� said Pari, a shopkeeper in the city. Aside of the party workers and the politicians who have been engaged in an unending paper-war through press releases, people seem jaded. �We want a good government and good people, but I don�t know if we can get one this time,� is how a college student, Ruata put it.

The main contenders for power are the Congress, the MDA and the ZNP, the last being the dark horse. While observers give the Congress an easy win with a few seats dropped, some drastic last minute changes in voter behaviour may tip the balance for the underdogs in many of the constituencies where winning hangs on a hair split balance, said a young ZNP party worker. He had just returned from campaigning in Kolasib where his president, Lalduhawma is pitched in a three cornered poll battle.

Party manifestos are more or less alike, except for the fact that the Congress lays stress in the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), laying prime claim. The Congress promised to ensure jobs, complete three major hydel projects and split any revenue from gas and oil 50:50 between Mizoram and the Centre. This statement by Sonia Gandhi during her campaign here has been ridiculed as another �Congress lie� as such decisions need to be taken by the Parliament and not a party president.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi also campaigned one after the other in a show of power.

More in Entertainment
Similar Posts