At the ninth convention of the AGP here, chief guest Zoramthanga spewed venom at national parties ruling in states. "Regionalism means governance by owners of the land and not by parties born from Delhi's womb, which is not the owner of the land. I wish to see Assam administered by the sons of its soil, the real owners of the land."
The former militant leader, who went on to become the leader of the Mizo National Front and chief minister of Mizoram for two terms after giving up arms, pushed the regional party to strive harder to make a comeback. "Do not despair. Regionalism with the sprit of nationalism has a habit of coming back. It will come back in Assam as well as in Mizoram."
Well aware of the inner party problems which have plagued AGP for long, Zoramthanga had a piece of advice for the new leadership of the party that took charge on Thursday. "Bury all the differences in the leadership. We too had differences in the MNF but we erased all of them. You may have problems here and there but do not let these problems get magnified."
He said like AGP in Assam, MNF in Mizoram is a symbol of nationalism, and both parties have quite a lot in common. "MNF was born of a movement and so was AGP. We are in the same boat," he said.
The Mizo strongman brought out another common issue being pursued by both parties. Like AGP, the MNF too blames the Congress of manipulating electronic voting machines to win elections.
"There is a tradition of helping each other in times of need. Both the parties have gone through the same hardships. If we strive together, we will make a comeback. Let this brotherhood be extended to other regional parties in other states. We may open the window for the breeze to come in but let us close the doors on all national parties or else they will uproot us," he said.