Mizoram Congress tenders apology to churches, NGOs

Aizawl: The opposition Congress on Monday tendered an apology to churches and civil society organisations of Mizoram for allowing the opening of liquor shops in the Christian-majority state six years ago, which, it said, led to the party’s defeat in the 2018 assembly polls.

Former Mizoram health minister and Congress leader Lal Thanzara expressed apology for the “wrongs” committed by the Congress during its decade-long two terms between 2008 and 2018.

Apart from Lal Thanzara, other Congress leaders including former finance minister Lalsawta addressed a press meet in south Mizoram’s Lunglei town on Monday.

Lal Thanzara, who is the brother of former chief minister and Congress president Lal Thanhawla, admitted that the main reason for Congress suffering a humiliating defeat in the last assembly poll in 2018 was due to the opening of wine shops.

“We opened wine shops and issued alcohol permits against the interest of churches and NGOs, which was the main reason for our defeat in the last assembly polls. Our leaders have promised not to issue liquor permits if we are voted back to power in the next assembly polls in 2023. We tender apology to the churches and NGOs for our errors,” Lal Thanzara said.

The Congress party had successfully implemented its flagship programme – New Land Use Policy (NLUP) – during its ten years rule but suffered a humiliating defeat, he said.

Lal Thanzara also said the Congress is learning from its past mistakes and reforming itself so people vote it back to power.

Lalsawta slammed chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga for allegedly not living up to his words and promises.

“The chief minister’s nonsense has become a fun for the people,” he said.

The former finance minister also blamed the MNF government for its alleged financial mismanagement.

“The MNF has miserably failed in its financial management,” he said.

He said the Congress government had followed 2 years of consolidation to improve the financial condition of the state, which helped its predecessor MNF considerably.

Lal Thanzara and Lalsawta were accompanied by former Rajya Sabha member Ronald Sapa Tlau of Congress, former Congress legislator Joseph Lalhlimpuia and other Congress leaders. 

In the last assembly polls held in November 2018, the ruling MNF won a clear majority by bagging 26 out of 40 seats and later won the bypolls to Aizawl West-I seat, which was vacated by Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma. 

Congress won 5, BJP -1 and 8 independent candidates, including Lalduhoma supported by ZPM were also elected.

Lalduhoma won two seats- Serchhip and Aizawl West-I and later vacated Aizawl West-I seat.  

Also Read: Mizoram budget: Rs 4 cr for SEDP, Rs 5 cr for ex-MNF cadres

In the present 40-member assembly, the ruling MNF has 27 members, ZPM-6, Congress-5 and BJP has 1 member.

In November last year, Lalduhoma was disqualified by assembly speaker Lalrinliana Sailo for violating the anti-defection law by defecting to ZPM.

The bypoll to Serchhip seat is due this year and is yet to be notified by the Election Commission. 

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