Mizoram speaker resigns, cites need for BJP support amid state's financial crisis

Aizawl: Following a denial of a ticket by the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), assembly speaker Lalrinliana Sailo will join the BJP in another setback for the ruling party ahead of the assembly polls slated for November 7, a BJP leader said on Wednesday.

BJP media convener Johny Lalthanpuia said that Sailo will be inducted into the Saffron party on Thursday. He said that Sailo will contest the upcoming assembly polls on the BJP ticket, although the party high command is yet to finalise a constituency where he would contest. Assembly officials said that Sailo will tender resignation as a legislator on Wednesday to enable him to contest the upcoming assembly elections on the BJP ticket. He will be the 8th legislator to resign as an MLA ahead of the assembly polls.

Sailo had won the Chalfilh seat in the 2018 assembly polls on the MNF ticket. He is said to have been denied a ticket by the party over his remarks on the MNF-NDA alliance.

Earlier, Congress MLA KT Rokhaw, former minister Dr K. Beichhua, and five independent MLAs backed by Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) have submitted their resignation. Rokhaw has joined the ruling MNF and will contest on the party ticket from Palak, while Beichhua, who was expelled by the MNF in January this year, will contest from Siaha, his home turf, on the BJP ticket.

Five independent MLAs – V L Zaithanzama of Aizawl West-III constituency, Vanlalthlana of Aizawl North-II, Lalchhuanthanga of Aizawl South II, C Lalsawivunga of Aizawl South-I, and Vanlalhlana of Aizawl North-I constituency had resigned on Tuesday. Although they originally belonged to ZPM, the five legislators contested the last assembly polls as ‘independent’ because their party, ZPM, which was formed in 2017, was not registered with the Election Commission of India (ECI) at that time. Their resignation was necessary as contesting on ZPM tickets can invite disqualification. ZPM leader and chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma does not require resignation as he successfully contested the assembly polls to Serchhip seat in 2021 on the ZPM ticket, two years after the party got registration from the ECI in 2019.

Elections to the 40-member Mizoram assembly will be held on November 7, and counting of votes will be held on December 3.

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Meanwhile, various political parties, including MNF and Congress, and Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomerate of major churches in the state, have expressed their opposition to the counting date that falls on December 3, which is Sunday, worship day for the Christian community. The MNF and Congress have already written to the election commission urging it to reschedule the counting date. A leader of MKHC also said that they will write to the election commission seeking a shift in the counting date.

Also Read | Mizoram: ZPM fields candidate for Tuichawng constituency

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