Aizawl: The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) on Monday refuted the allegation leveled by opposition Congress that the state’s first medical college, Mizoram Institute of Medical Education and Research (MIMER), was renamed after chief minister Zoramthanga.
MIMER was inaugurated during the Congress government on August 7, 2018 at Falkawn, about 16 km from here. The state cabinet recently renamed it as Zoram Medical College (ZMD).
MNF legislator and human resource development vice chairman L. Thangmawia said that renaming of MIMER as Zoram Medical College has no any connection with the name of the chief minister.
He said that customarily a Mizo name bears a suffix of “a” for male and “i” for female and “Zoram” is not the name of a particular person but instead denotes “Mizoram.”
“Naming of a particular monument after ‘Zoram’ is very decent as we are living in Mizoram and that Zoram is a short form of Mizoram,” Thangmawia said while addressing the party meeting here on Monday.
He accused Congress of leveling baseless allegation.
The Congress alleged that the government has renamed the medical institution after chief minister Zoramthanga, which contravened the cabinet decision that no monument should be named after a person who is alive.
Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga told a press conference on Saturday that though the medical college was initially proposed to be renamed as Mizoram Medical College, it has been named as Zoram Medical College in the cabinet meeting on April 22 after a minister proposed that it should carry the name of Zoramthanga.
He alleged that MIMER was renamed under the pretext that its name is difficult to spell or pronounce.
He said that the medical college was called MIMER because the Congress government had a hope to upgrade it to medical college cum research institute in future.
“Renaming of the institute could have impact on its future as it has to receive full permission from Medical Council of India, besides Letter of Permission for its establishment,” he said.
Lallianchhunga claimed that MIMER was the by-product of Congress government.
He said that when former Prime Minister HD Dave Gowda paid a visit to Mizoram in 1996, Lal Thanhawla, who was the chief minister of the state at that time, asked him to establish a medical college in the hilly state.
Subsequently, the centre sanctioned Rs 40 crore for the establishment a 300 bedded state referral hospital at Falkawn in the hope of upgrading it to a medical college in future.
The MNF constructed the hospital building with sub-standard quality and turned it into a poultry farm and police quarters during its rule between 1998 and 2008, he said.
The Congress leader said that the hospital was revived after the Congress came back to power in 2008 and finally obtained permission from the Centre for establishment of a medical college there in 2014.