Aizawl: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released two lists of 23 candidates for the upcoming Mizoram assembly election scheduled for November 7. Oct 20 is the last date for filing nominations for voting to the 40-member assembly.
Other major parties, including the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the opposition Congress and the Zoram Peoples’ Movement (ZPM), have already declared their candidates. The BJP, which had contested 39 seats in 2018 (managing to win just one) has fielded 16 fewer candidates this time.
The party had secured only 8% of the total votes in the Christian-majority state and was in opposition despite MNF being part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre. Lalrinliana Sailo, a former MNF legislator who recently resigned as Speaker of the House and joined the BJP, has been fielded from the Mamit constituency.
The Congress on October 17 announced their list of 40 candidates for the upcoming election. There are four sitting MLAs, three former candidates, nine ex-MLAs and 24 first-timers on the party list.
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) – the largest student body in Mizoram – had requested all political parties not to field women candidates married to non-Mizo/tribal, and they strongly stated that “if such women candidates are contesting, they will focus their energy on such women to lose the election”.
All four major parties in the state – MNF, Zoram People’s Movement, the BJP and the Congress are all fielding women candidates – a new trend for the state. In the 2018 polls, MNF had not fielded even one woman candidate. Congress had fielded one, ZPM two and BJP six.