Mizoram: Around 18,00 names of Bru voters deleted from electoral roll
Bru Voters. Representational image

Aizawl: Mizoram’s main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) on Friday wrote to State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P. Jawahar to not to allow Bru voters, who have been allowed to re-settle in Tripura, to exercise their franchise in the upcoming bypoll to Tuirial assembly seat under Kolasib district.

The by-poll to Tuirial Assembly seat is due on October 30.

The party strongly objected to casting of votes by Bru voters as the Centre had already permitted them to permanently settle in Tripura, the letter said.

In November last year, the ZPM had written to the Election Commission of India (ECI) urging the poll panel to delete the names of nearly 12,000 Bru voters from the state electoral roll.

Thousands of Brus fled Mizoram and migrated to Tripura fearing ethnic tension triggered by the murder of a Mizo forest guard in 1997.

There have been at least nine attempts for repatriation of the Brus to Mizoram, with the latest round of repatriation organised between October and November 2019, during which 1,165 Brus, belonging to 289 families, had returned to Mizoram.

At least 11,107 Bru refugees (2,239 families) have been repatriated to Mizoram during the repatriation processes.

According to the agreement signed between the Centre, governments of Mizoram and Tripura and representatives of Bru organisations on January 16 last year, more than 35,000 displaced Bru tribals, who failed to return to Mizoram during the repatriation, would be permanently settled in Tripura.

Nearly 12,000 Bru voters are still enrolled in the voter list while their resettlement in neighbouring Tripura is under process.

According to state joint chief electoral officer David Liansanglura Pachuau, there are now 17,927 electorates, including 9,099 female voters, in Tuirial assembly constituency.

Of this, 663 are Bru voters and they belonged to two polling stations, he said.

The bypoll to Tuirial assembly seat will be held simultaneously with three parliamentary constituencies and 29 other assembly seats in various states on October 30.

The last date of filing nomination papers is fixed on October 8, while the last date for withdrawal is scheduled on October 13, as per the notification issued by the Election Commission on Tuesday.

Counting of votes will be held simultaneously with three parliamentary seats and 29 assembly seats on November 2.

The bypoll to Tuirial assembly was necessitated by the death of incumbent MLA Andrew H. Thangliana of ZPM, who died on August 17. 

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has fielded party leader and public sector unit chairman K. Laldawngliana to be up against ZPM’s nominee Laltlanmawia and former Congress legislator Chalrosanga Ralte.

The bypoll is believed to witness a triangular fight among these three.

The BJP is yet to declare name of its candidate. 

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