Aizawl, Feb 5 : Clean election and anti-corruption watchdog People’s Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram (PRISM) has slammed the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee, the ruling party and asked it to withdraw its ‘controversial’ candidate for the Chalfilh Assembly by- elections and nominate another. The elections is slated to be held on February 23.
PRISM, which is part of the National Election Watch movement for clean elections and a member of the Election Commissioner’s committee for clean elections wrote a letter to the Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is also the president of the ruling party.
PRISM warned that if the party did not do so the organisation would go all out to have the candidate defeated or even take recourse to filing an election complaint. PRISM believes that the ruling party’s choice of candidate is an outrageous insult to the people of the State who want clean candidates.
While many expected the Mizoram People’s Forum, a church-based platform formed to enforce ‘clean elections’ and ‘clean candidates’, it was the PRISM, a growing public movement against corruption in governance which finally belled the cat.
With this controversy, the ruling Congress seems to have messed up its sure-fire walk over in the Chalfilh Assemby bye-elections.
The party candidate, Dr H Ngurdingliana is popularly known as one of the three then candidates who were kidnapped in Suangpuilawn constituency during the 2003 Assembly polls, an incident which had shocked the State till it was revealed that it was faked by the candidates themselves.
Several local people said that the Congress choice was shocking for many as the 2003 ‘incident’ and its aftermath is still fresh in their memory.
“When we heard they were kidnapped, I had almost died wondering what had become of our Mizo culture. When they were found by the police, there were rumours that they were never kidnapped. A police inquiry was commissioned but the then Mizo National Front Government refused to make it public. It was Zoram weekly which made it public by getting the report through RTI. Only then did the public come to know that those candidates kidnapped themselves to fool the Election authorities,” said Maliana, an Aizawlite recalling the dark days of 2003.
“If the MPCC believe that the public have short memories as most politicians seem to think, they were reminded earlier that this is far from the reality by the Phuaibuang Students Union which had called on the political parties to desist from fielding any of those persons who could plan such a charade to fool the voters.
But, apparently sound sense did not prevail. This turns out to be a windfall for the opposition parties like the MNF, Mizoram People’s Conference, Zoram Nationalist Party.
Chalfilh has 13 sensitive polling stations where the shadow of the armed Hmar People’s Convention-Democratic falls heavy. It was part of the Suangpuilawn constituency before the recent delimitations. A large community of Hmars make up the electorate. The last day for filing nomination is February 6.