The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has quietly taken over the Congress in a remote tribal council in Mizoram. This has come a little more than a year after the BJP and the Congress got together to rule another tribal council in the State.
On June 21, the BJP trumped the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) in absorbing 20 Congress members of the Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC). Three of these members are nominated.
The MNF is a member of the BJP-helmed North East Democratic Alliance, an anti-Congress forum.
“The MNF tried to take control of the Mara council and had made a move to dissolve it. But the Congress members came to us and the merger happened,” State BJP president J.V. Hluna told The Hindu from capital Aizawl on Tuesday.
He said the BJP had formed a new legislature party headed by chief executive member and former Congress leader N. Zakhai to stake a claim for forming the council. “The Governor is yet to approve our application,” he added.
The last election to the MADC was held in May 2017, with the Congress winning 17 of the maximum 25 seats. The alliance of the MNF and the local Mara Democratic Front (MDF) won seven seats, while an independent won one seat.
Three Congress members were later nominated to the council that covers 1,445 sq. km. of Mizoram’s southern tip bordering Myanmar.
In October 2017, the MDF severed ties with the MNF and its two members in the MADC joined the BJP. With the merger of the 20 Congress members, the BJP now has a strength of 22 in the council.
Mr. Zakhai said the Congress members decided to merge with the BJP in view of the Centre’s promise to amend the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution for giving more autonomy and direct funding to the autonomous district councils.
MADC is one of three autonomous councils in Mizoram. The others are Lai Autonomous District Council and Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC).
In April 2018, the BJP and the Congress left political pundits flabbergasted by joining hands to form the CADC after a fractured verdict to the 20-member council. Their “unprecedented” alliance kept the MNF, which had won eight seats, out of power.
Source: The Hindu
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