ZPM-Congress publicity department chief Lallianchhunga addresses news conference in Aizawl, Mizoram Credit: Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)-Congress combine on Thursday slammed the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) for being part of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Aizawl on Thursday, ZPM-Congress publicity department chief Lallianchhunga said the MNF did not stand for the protection of the Mizo tribal.

Lallianchhunga said that the MNF’s opposition to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was just a face-saver as it is still part of the NEDA. “In fact, the ruling MNF does not oppose the citizenship bill. It is just pretending to oppose the bill to disguise itself before the people. The party should sever ties with BJP if it really opposed to the bill,” he said.

Lallianchhunga said that though the Congress and ZPM have different ideologies and principles, they have no other option but to join hands together to defeat the BJP’s ally MNF because the BJP was firm on re-introducing the citizenship bill.

Lallianchhunga said the citizenship bill was strongly opposed by the entire Northeast.

The bill, if re-introduced and enacted, would be very harmful for Mizoram, which has been facing illegal influx from Bangladesh over decades, he added.

He said that the BJP should be put out of power in order to have the bill defeated and avoid persecution of religious minorities especially the Christians.

According to the ZPM-Congress media chief, both the parties have forged alliance on 7 March and decided to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and assembly by-election to Aizawl West-I seat as independent by surrendering their symbols.

Lallianchhunga said that the alliance gave priority to safety of the Mizos. “We believe in a principle- safety of Mizo and Mizoram first and party second,” he said, adding that the alliance was forged with a motive to fight against the BJP and its allies.

On February 14, the ZPM-Congress combine announced Lalnghinglova Hmar and Lalbuanga Sailo as its candidates for the lone Lok Sabha seat and assembly by-elections, respectively.

They were branded as people’s candidates.

In the state assembly elections held on November 28 last year, the vote share of the Congress and ZPM combine was 53.1%, which is 13.5% higher than the MNF’s vote share of 37.6%.

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