Guwahati, December 8, 2018:

Mizoram is headed to a hung Assembly, social and political research organisation Peoples Pulse has predicted.

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It said the Congress, which is in power, will get 14-19 seats in the 40-member state Assembly. It gave 15-19 seats to Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), two-four seats to Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM) and 0-2 seats to the BJP.

Mizoram has a history of ten years electoral cycle since statehood barring first two years. By that logic, Peoples Pulse said the Congress is supposed to be dislodged by a new dispensation. However, this election is a bit different from earlier ones. Mizoram has never experienced hung Assembly in the seven elections since statehood with the Congress and the MNF alternating power, but the presence of the ZPM and the BJP in the fray might leave its impact. The defection of R. Lalzirliana and four other MLAs to the MNF has weakened the Congress which continues to be hit by internal infighting.

“The BJP began seriously by fighting in 39 constituencies and by fielding in its campaign Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The party banks on the minority votes primarily, but projects on the ideals of genuine secularism to rebut the accusations that it is an Hindutva party in a Christian majority state. The other factor this time is the conglomeration of two parties – Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) to fight against both the Congress and MNF. This conglomeration’s nominees have contested 35 constituencies as Independents but on the common election symbol of Hat. The two main constituents have their old followers and the group may emerge as third largest player after poll result. It has one sitting MLA at present,” the survey report said.

It said the Church, which played a major role in enforcing prohibition in the state through legislation in 1995, is upset with its partial lifting in 2014 by the Congress. The MNF and the ZPM have vowed to bring back total prohibition if they come to power whereas the BJP favours license only for the production of local liquor.

“If Congress emerges as the single largest party but short of majority, it will have limited option for coalition compared to MNF. The smaller parties may feel more comfortable to ally with the regional party. If the BJP manages to get two or three seats, they will try its best to keep Congress out of power and make the northeast Congress-free as they always claim they would. But its failure in elections elsewhere will not be compensated arithmetically and politically,” it added.

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