For the first time in the history, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has hinted at a post-poll alliance with its traditional arch-rival the Congress in the Mizoram Assembly elections. The ruling Congress and main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) are the two major parties in the hill state of Mizoram. While the BJP is in power in all the other north-eastern state, it has never won an Assembly election in Mizoram. During his recent visit to the poll-bound state, BJP chief Amit Shah had said that the BJP will win the Assembly elections and the Christian majority state will celebrate this year’s Christmas under the saffron party’s rule.
However, BJP in charge for elections in Mizoram and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hinted at a probable alliance with Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla. Terming the chief minister a “friend”, Sarma said that the MNF isn’t the only option for the post-poll alliance.
"It is not like that MNF is the only option for the post-poll alliance," NDTV quoted Sarma as saying.
"I say this because in Mizoram, Congress has a separate constitution. It has a unique history. As a party, its constitution different the rest of the country. Lal Thanhawla takes independent decisions. We are friendly with the chief minister as an individual," he said.
Sarma said that while the Congress and MNF remain the rivals, the BJP is not criticising Chief Minister Thanhawla and Zoramthanga - MNF leader and former Chief Minister of Mizoram from December 1998 to December 2008.
"We are open to friendship with both Lal Thanhawla and Zoramthanga. At the party-level, we are focusing on strengthening our base and targeting our rivals, but we aren't criticizing the two Mizo leaders at an individual level. We are neutral to both and treating them as our friends," Sarma said.
While the BJP is making all-out efforts to open its account in the state, the Congress party, which has been ruling the state since 2008, is eying third consecutive term. Mizoram is also important for the Congress as it’s the last north-eastern state the party is in power. Elections for the 40-member Mizoram Legislative Assembly are scheduled to be held on November 28. The results will be declared on December 11.