Lalnghinglova Hmar (left) and Lalbuanga Sailo being felicitated during campaign kickoff in AIzawl on Monday

Aizawl: The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Congress, who fought against each other in the Mizoram assembly election held in November last year, on Monday jointly appealed to the voters for support to defeat BJP’s ally Mizo National Front (MNF) in the Lok Sabha polls.

The ZMP and Congress, who forged pre-poll alliance on March 7 have kicked off campaign for the lone Lok Sabha seat and assembly by-election to Aizawl West-I seat in a function held at Vanpa hall here on Monday.

The alliance has named football icon and journalist Lalnghinglova Hmar as common candidate for Lok Sabha polls and a retired bureaucrat Lalbuanga Sailo for assembly by election. Both the candidates were branded as people’s candidates.

Speaking on the occasion, state Congress president and former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said the Congress and ZPM have forged alliance by surrendering their party identities to stand for the rights of the Mizo people and protection of Mizoram and Christianity.

Citing that the alliance strongly believe in secularism, Lal Thanhawla said it would strongly oppose to any move to violate the concept of secularism and principle of equality of all before law in the country.

He alleged that the BJP led NDA government was attempting to suppress religious minorities other than the Hindus. “ The Christian and Muslim religion, whose origin are found in foreign countries are the prime target of the BJP,” he alleged.

The Congress president also slammed the ruling MNF for being part of the BJP led NDA government. “ No matter how far the MNF deny its allegiance to NDA, it is part of the alliance as long as it extends support to the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA),” he said.

Urging the people to vote for ZPM-Congress combine nominees, Lal Thanhawla also said that the people of Mizoram have to ignore and sideline the BJP’s ally MNF. He said that the BJP, if re-elected, was firm on re-introducing Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is very harmful for a state like Mizoram.

Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) president and ZPM legislature party leader Lalduhoma also slammed the ruling MNF for trying to mislead the people over the ZPM-Congress alliance. He said that forging electoral or pre-poll alliance was not a new thing in the history of Mizoram politics as several alliances were formed by oppositions before assembly elections and Lok Sabha polls in the past.

He added that the “alliance” formed by oppositions have so far defeated the ruling party in three Lok Sabha polls in the past.

Taking a dig at BJP, the ZPM leader said it is attempting to suppress the Christian minorities by indulging in their food habits and important days. He said that the BJP government has damaged the secular fabric of the country by declaring Christmas (25 December) as good governance day and observing Digitial India day on Good Friday.

Lalduhoma alleged that the BJP government is trying to introduce uniform civil code in the name of “One country, one religion.” He further alleged that many Christian charity institutions were withdrew by blocking foreign funding and yoga practice were forcefully imposed by the BJP led NDA government to suppress the Christian minorities.

Alleging that the BJP is secretly funding the MNF, Laluhoma also appealed to the people to vote for ZPM-Congress combine, who stood for secularism and protection of Mizoram, its people and their religion.

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