Vanlalhmuaka releasing names of BJP candidates

Aizawl: Various political parties, including the ruling party in Mizoram, the Mizo National Front (MNF), released candidate names for the upcoming election to the Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) on May 5.

The MNF, Congress and BJP have fielded candidates for all the 25 seats, while Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), contesting these elections for the first time, named eight candidates for the council polls.

While the MNF announced the names on Tuesday, Congress, ZPM, and the BJP released the names of their contenders on Wednesday.

The BJP is currently in power in the MADC.

State BJP president Vanlalhmuaka, who released the party candidates’ names at a function on Wednesday, said the saffron party would retain power in the Mara council.

He said the BJP expects to win 15 to 17 seats in the upcoming polls. Announcing the names of the party candidates, ZPM working president K. Sapdanga on Wednesday said, “It is great that the ZPM is contesting eight seats in its debut. We are happy, for we have seen progress within the party.”

He said that the party would respect the constitution of India and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), a church-backed poll watchdog, to ensure a free and fair election.

Polling for the 25-member MADC would be on May 5, and the votes would be counted on May 9.

The last date for filing nomination papers ended on Wednesday, while the last date for candidature withdrawal is April 18.

There are 25 constituencies and 81 polling stations in MADC. According to the final roll published on March 29, 42,326 electorates, including 21,960 female voters, will exercise their franchise in the upcoming polls.

MADC was constituted in 1972 for the Mara people living in Mizoram and is headquartered in Siaha in the southern part of the state.

The council has 25 elected and three nominated members.

In the last council poll held in May 2017, Congress had won a simple majority by securing 17 seats, while the MNF and the Mara Democratic Front (MDF) alliance won seven. One independent candidate also won a seat.

Later, the MDF members joined BJP when the ethnic-based party merged with the saffron party.

The council came under BJP in June 2019 when all Congress members defected to the saffron party. It is now headed by N. Zakhai as Chief Executive Member (CEM).

The BJP now has 17 members in the 25- member council, MNF (6) and Congress (2). The council witnessed frequent defection due to the absence of anti-defection law.

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