Aizawl: Lalhriatrenga Chhangte alias Hriata Chhangte, former deputy controller of mines under the Central government, who filed a criminal case against former Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla over the alleged “false affidavit” in January last year, on Friday announced that he will contest the lone Lok Sabha seat in the upcoming general elections as an independent.
He said that he would contest on behalf of a group called 'Mizo Democracy Warrior' that was established recently. “I will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate. My symbol will be two standing candles,” Chhangte told a news conference in Aizawl on Friday.
The mining engineer turned politician said he preferred to contest as an independent though he was offered a BJP ticket.
Describing his poll agenda, Chhangte said he would fight for Mizoram and the Mizo communities so that their voices are heard by Delhi. His priority will be sustainable development for Mizoram and bringing solution to the long-standing boundary dispute between Mizoram and Assam, he said.
Chhangte said that he will work for strengthening of economic ties between the Mizos of Mizoram and other Mizo communities living in different parts of the country, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
He added that he would work to speed up the ongoing exploration of natural gas and oil in the state and establish horticulture and tourism industries for employment generation.
The 54-year-old leader further said that he would take effort to assist educated youths employ under Central government and pressure the centre to resolve the prevailing Chakma and Bru issues.
Born in 1965 in central Mizoram’s Serchhip town, Chhangte has graduated B. Tech (mining engineering) from School of Mines, Dhanbad (now IIT-ISM Dhanbab) in 1986. He was known to be the first Mizo to have become mining engineer. He also studied law and completed LLM from Gujarat University in 1996.
In 1997, he joined India Bureau of Mines (IBM) under the Union ministry of mines, as assistant controller of mines and retired as deputy controller in November, 2018.
After his retirement from IBM, he worked as a regular employee under Belgium-based Balasore Alloys Limited to monitor chromite project in Manipur and Chin hills of Myanmar. But he resigned as regular employee from Balasore Alloys Limited and remained as techno-legal consultant to the company after he decided to contest Lok Sabha polls.
He is the brother of senior advocate and MNF leader C Lalramzauva, who is now a political adviser to chief minister Zoramthanga.