Aizawl, Oct 31: Mizoram Chief Minister and president of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) Zoramthanga on Tuesday said that his party will retain power in the election to the 40-member state legislature to be held on November 7.
Talking to the media persons in Aizawl, Zoramthanga expressed the hope that his party will bag at least 21 magic figures. “I hope that we will score at least 25 seats and maybe more,” he said.
He said that over 11,000 internally displaced people of neighbouring Manipur taking shelter in the state, and over 33,000 refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh are in favour of the MNF retaining power in the state in the coming elections.
The refugees and IDPs are afraid that some other parties having links with the central government will form the next government as their future will be extremely uncertain, he claimed.
On the issue of the collection of biographic and biometric data of the Myanmar refugees as ordered by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the chief minister said that there is no need for the collection of biometric data from the refugees from Myanmar taking shelter in the state.
“We are maintaining all their records and collection of biometric data will only intimidate them (Myanmar refugees). Anyway, with the upcoming election, the state government has no time for collection of the data,” he said.
He expressed the opinion that the central government will not scrap the safeguards of Mizoram and other states as enshrined in Article 371 of the Indian Constitution. “The provisions of the article are not only for Mizoram and its removal will trigger a plethora of adverse reactions. Scrapping of article 371 is not required and will not serve any purpose for the centre,” he said.
He dared the BJP to initiate investigations into the implementation of the Socio-Economic Development Programme (SEDP), the flagship programme of the MNF government. The government deposited the family-oriented SEDP money to the beneficiaries into their bank accounts and there can be no chance of perforation, he said.
He added that though the MNF is a part of the NDA, his party’s support for the BJP-led alliance is based on issues and the MNF opposed the NDA when they were trying to do things against the interests of Mizoram and the people.
“I am one of the founders of the NDA during the time of AB Vajpayee and LK Advani, long before some of the present BJP top leaders were in the party,” he added.