Tripura: Why internally displaced Brus still want to vote in Mizoram polls 
Bru migrant voters (file photo).

Agartala: The internally displaced Bru migrants, now being permanently settled in Tripura, have requested the Election Commission of India to retain their names on the electoral rolls until the upcoming elections due to unresolved practical issues.

The General Secretary of the Bru Displaced People’s Forum, Bruno Msha, wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner of the country through the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Tripura, drawing his attention to several issues.

The letter underscored that if the names of Bru migrants are deleted from the electoral rolls of Mizoram, who are yet to be enrolled in the electoral rolls of Tripura, a substantial number of citizens of the country would be denied the right to exercise their franchise in the election scheduled for November.

Citing the petition of the Young Mizo Association, which has requested the CEO of Mizoram to delete the names of Bru voters from the electoral rolls, the letter highlighted that a huge number of displaced Brus are yet to be resettled in Tripura as per the provisions of the Quadripartite Agreement, and some of them are in a dilemma about whether they would be settled in Mizoram or Tripura.

“As per the petition submitted to Mr. Madhup Vyas, IAS, Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram, by the Young Mizo Association (YMA), the names of Bru IDPs should be deleted from the existing Electoral Roll of Mizoram before June 15, 2023. Accordingly, the Election Department is working on that, and all names of Bru IDPs will be deleted before the forthcoming general assembly election of Mizoram, likely to be held in November 2023. In this connection, I would like to bring to your kind notice that many names of Bru IDPs are not yet registered in the Electoral roll of Tripura. This includes 651 families, out of a total of 6959 families, as per the Quadripartite Agreement signed on January 16, 2020, and approximately 478 families who were left out during the population census conducted by the Government of Tripura in June-August 2020 but who have the population census slip from the census conducted by the Government of Mizoram in 2016 & 2019,” the letter reads.

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Requesting authorities to keep Bru IDPs’ names in Mizoram’s Electoral rolls, Bruno Msha said, “Many people are yet to decide whether they would take the benefit of the resettlement package or return to Mizoram as mentioned in serial No. 02 of the Quadrilateral Agreement of 2020 that gave the option to the Bru familles to repatriate to Mizoram as per agreement of 3 July, 2018.”

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He added that their names should not be deleted “until the ensuing general assembly election to be held in November, to exercise their universal adult franchise, which is of vital importance and mandatory for the citizens of India.” A copy of the letter was also forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram.

It is worth mentioning that a Rs 600 crore package was approved for Brus’ resettlement in Tripura. As per the agreement, resettled Brus receive one-time FD, monthly allowances, hut construction funds, and state government assistance. Approximately 1,000 Bru voters remain on Mizoram’s electoral rolls, with voting rights in upcoming assembly elections.

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