A view of Sinlung Hills Credit: File image

Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga on Wednesday promised to make massive efforts to develop the newly created Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) area in the northeastern part of the state.

The ruling MNF and Hmar People’s Convention (HPC) on Wednesday launched a combined campaign for the first general election to a 12-member SHC.

Addressing a campaign kick-off programme at the SHC headquarters in Sakawrdai village, Zoramthanga said that his government would make an effort to transform the council area from being a dark (underdeveloped) area into an enlightened one.

He further stated that for decades, SHC area, which is predominantly inhabited by the Hmar people, has been derogatorily called “dark area of the North” as it not only lacked development but remained neglected.

The chief minister also informed that the state government would take massive effort to implement the peace accord signed between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile underground Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) on April 2 last year.

His party would also take massive effort to usher in development in the council area, he added. Zoramthanga also expressed happiness for the MNF-HPC alliance in the run-up to the election and also appealed voters to vote for the MNF-HPC candidates for development.

The MNF president said that their main rival Congress is no more a big threat to the MNF-HPC combine as the national party has greatly lost its ground in most parts of the country.

Zoramthanga was accompanied by the education minister and Tuivawl constituency MLA Lalchhandama Ralte and a host of Hmar leaders.

Speaking at the campaign kick-off programme, Ralte said that the MNF government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga is giving utmost concern to the development of the Hmar people.

HPC president Thangliensung, speaking on the occasion, thanked the chief minister and MNF government for giving them the opportunity to elect their representative through adult franchise for the first time after more than 22 years of the interim government.

Thangliensung also urged the chief minister to shift the council office to Sakawrdai village as it is the headquarters of the council. As of now, SHC is running its cell office in Aizawl.

The ruling MNF and HPC combine has fielded all the seats in 7:5 ratio, while opposition Congress is contesting in 6 seats for the 12 member SHC council election scheduled to be held on November 5, this year. However, the HPC headed by Thangliensung would contest as independent due to a court order.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and National People’s Party (NPP) have fielded two seats each and HPC faction headed by Lalrosiem has fielded one candidate for SHC elections in Mizoram. There are 24 independent candidates, including five HPC candidates.

Altogether, there are 42 candidates in the fray for the 12 member SHC election and counting will be held on November 5 this year, as soon as all ballot boxes reached respective constituency headquarters.

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