Prominent Mizo student bodies including one accused of carrying out attacks on Bru tribal villages that resulted in tens of thousands of Brus fleeing to Tripura in 1997 have said they will resort to any means necessary to stop Brus living in relief camps from voting in the upcoming Mizoram polls.
More than 11,000 Brus,currently living in seven relief camps in Tripura,are registered in the electoral rolls of nine constituencies spread over three Mizoram districts and are eligible to vote in the November 25 polls.
The Election Commission has been preparing to conduct polls there through postal ballot. EC director general Ashish Srivastava visited the relief camps to review the situation and special registration drives were held last week.
The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) and the Mizo Students Union (MSU) had earlier appealed to the EC to cancel the postal ballot for Bru voters,arguing that more than 5,000 Bru families left there have refused to return in spite of an ongoing repatriation process.
More than 1,000 Bru families have returned home since 2010,when the repatriation process jointly implemented by the Mizoram and Tripura governments and the Ministry of Home Affairs began. The rest still remain behind as Bru leaders in the camps continue to demand higher compensation packages. In a series of statements separately issued by the student bodies over the past week (before and after meetings with and representations to the EC),the student unions have charged the Brus of refusing to reciprocate to the governments overtures and that they therefore have no rights to vote in Mizoram elections.
The MZP has also lodged its protest against the ECs special voter registration drives,alleging the poll panel only cares for the Brus since it has not conducted similar drives for Mizos. Joint CEO H Lalengmawia,meanwhile,said he has met some student leaders in the past few days as instructed by the EC to discuss their demands,but that there has been no further instructions from the poll panel.
MDA,ZNP release final candidate list
AIZAWL: The Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA) released its final list of candidates Monday,with former CM Zoramthanga set to contest from East Tuipui a new seat for him,while the Zoram Nationalist Party (znp) released its own list for the November 25 polls. The powerful election watchdog Mizoram Peoples Forum has,however,taken exception to the fielding of a rebel groups spokesperson by the ZNP and the consortium will discuss how to take action in a scheduled meeting since its pre-poll covenant with all political parties declared no armed group or rebels would be used by any political party during the polls. MPF general secretary Lalramthanga said the forums leaders would meet in the coming days to discuss the ZNPs fielding of Muanpuia Punte,an official spokesperson and peace talks delegate of the Manipur-based Hmar Peoples Convention (Democratic) in the Tuivawl constituency. Meanwhile,the MDA will field candidates in all 40 seats. Among their candidates is a lone woman,and a sitting Rajya Sabha MP Lalhmingliana. ENS