Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Monday said that the Centre would appoint a chief secretary who has a working knowledge of the Mizo language.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Zoramthanga said he had recently discussed the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

“During our meeting in Delhi, the Prime Minister assured me that the Centre would appoint a chief secretary, who knows the working standard of Mizo language,” he said, adding that Mizoram is likely to have a Mizo IAS officer as chief secretary.

Citing that there is no personal problem of hatred with the current chief secretary Renu Sharma, the chief minister said that the main problem is a language barrier. He said that most cabinet ministers speak in Mizo during a cabinet meeting and the chief secretary has to sit silently, which inconvenienced her to carry out administration efficiently. 

On 28 October, the Centre had appointed Renu Sharma, an AGMUT cadre IAS officer of the 1988 batch, as the chief secretary of Mizoram. She assumed her office on November 2. The same day (October 28), the Mizoram government also issued a notification directing JC Ramthanga, additional chief secretary of the chief minister, to take charge of the chief secretary until further order. Officials said that the chief minister had proposed Ramthanga as chief secretary to the Centre much before Sharma was appointed.  

On October 29, Zoramthanga had written to Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to modify the Centre’s order of appointing Renu Sharma as the Chief Secretary of the state and instead appoint a person, who knows the working standard of Mizo language, as the chief secretary of the state. 

He had said that he requested his additional chief secretary JC Ramthanga to replace incumbent Lalnunmawia Chuaungo after his retirement on October 31. In the letter, the chief minister had pointed out that none of the cabinet ministers understand Hindi, and some even have problems understanding English.

“The Mizo people, by and large, do not understand Hindi, and none of my Cabinet Ministers understand Hindi, some of them even have problems with the English language. With such a background, a Chief Secretary without the knowledge of a working standard Mizo language will never be an effective and efficient Chief Secretary,” Zoramthanga had said in the letter.

He further added in the letter that “Due to this fact, the Government of India never posted a Chief Secretary who does not know the working standard of Mizo language since the creation of the state of Mizoram.”

Zoramthanga was camped in the national capital between November 19 and December 3 to meet the central leadership over several issues and development projects in the state.

During his meeting with the Prime Minister on November 30, Zoramthanga had urged him to take measures for a separate Mizoram cadre of IAS and other Indian service officers. He had also urged to provide housing assistance to ex-cadres of the Mizo National Front (MNF), who came overground after the signing of the Mizo peace accord in 1986.

Also read: Chakmas condemn Mizo govt over proposed 6th schedule amendment

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