Aizawl: With political parties intensifying their poll campaigns ahead of the state elections on November 28, electioneering for the 40-seat Mizoram assembly is slowly but steadily gaining momentum.
Scrutiny of nomination papers for 39 constituencies was completed on Monday. Scrutiny for the remaining Champhai (North) constituency, which was held up on Saturday due to technical reasons, is likely be completed by Tuesday evening.
Announcing this, Zorammuana, the joint chief electoral officer in Mizoram, said that 206 out of 212 poll nominations were scrutinised and accepted on Monday. The inspection of six candidatures from Champhai North constituency, bordering Myanmar, will be carried out on Tuesday, Zorammuana added.
Two of the candidates had counter affidavits filed against them. “One of the candidates apparently used an old nomination form, while another candidate, a retired government official, was alleged to have a subsisting contract with the State Government,” he said.
While the second case has been settled, the first case will be taken up for deliberations on Tuesday, he said. Wednesday is the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
The stakes are high
The stakes are high this time as Mizoram is the only north-eastern state which has a Congress government and the BJP, which is upbeat after ousting the CPI(M) from Tripura, is keen on making inroads in the Christian-dominated state.
Chief minister Lal Thanhawla, his cabinet colleagues and top Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) leaders have already hit the campaign trail, and so has former CM Zoramthanga of the main opposition, Mizo National Front (MNF) — part of the BJP-headed NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance).
With major political parties announcing the names of almost all candidates, party leaders, star campaigners and workers are carrying out door-to-door canvassing under the watchful eyes of the Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), which has been formed by different churches and NGOs for electoral reformation.
The ruling Congress has announced the candidates for all the 40 seats. The MNF also declared names for all the seats, except for Tuichawng, which falls within the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC).
Who’s worth it?
Meanwhile, Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla has declared movable properties worth over Rs 1 crore and agricultural land valued at more than Rs 2 crore, according to the affidavit submitted by him while filing his nomination papers for the State Assembly polls.
People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) president and the party’s chief ministerial candidate Vanlalruata has only Rs 30,000 cash in hand and his wife has Rs 5,000, according to the affidavit filed by him.
On the other hand, former two-time Chief Minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga has Rs 10 lakh in cash and immoveable properties, including cars and bank accounts, worth Rs 57.22 lakh, according to the affidavit filed by him.
According to the affidavit, Lal Thanhawla has Rs 5 lakh in cash, Rs 1,28,06,007 worth of movable properties, Rs 2.80 crore worth of agricultural land and Rs 20 lakh worth of non-agricultural land.
He also has a plot of land on which he has constructed a building at New Town, Kolkata worth around Rs 3.10 crore and a residential house at Zarkawt in Aizawl, the value of which he has not declared.
Lal Thanhawla’s wife, Lal Riliani, has Rs 3 lakh in cash, movable properties worth Rs 92,13,740.47 and agricultural land worth Rs 25 lakh. She also has non-agricultural land worth Rs 15 lakh.
PRISM president Vanlalruata has two bank accounts and the total amount of money in the accounts is Rs 2,175, while his spouse has Rs 539 in her account with the Mizoram Rural Bank, Khatla Branch in Aizawl. He has an agricultural land worth around Rs 7.50 lakh.
Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga Zoramthanga has agricultural land worth Rs 20 lakh and a plot of land and a building at Chaltlang locality in Aizawl worth Rs 1.25 crore.
His wife Roneihsangi has only Rs 7 in cash, Rs 43,756 in her bank accounts and moveable properties and a plot of land and a building worth Rs 1.5 crore at Ramhlun Venglai locality in Aizawl.
Zoramthanga’s son and daughter have Rs 28,398 each in their bank accounts.
State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president John V Hluna did not mention the amount of cash in hand. He has movable assets, including bank accounts, worth Rs 20,05,147, according to the affidavit filed by him. All the landed properties, both agricultural and non-agricultural lands were worth Rs 1.30 crore.
Zoram People’s Movement’s (ZPM) chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma has Rs 70,000 cash in hand and moveable properties, including bank accounts, worth Rs 18.34 lakh. Lalduhoma’s total landed properties are worth Rs 1.9 crore.
The counting of votes in Mizoram will take place on December 11 along with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.