The results of the elections for the 40-member Assembly in Mizoram point to the rejection of party politics in the state. The BJP, which rules the country, and the Congress, heading the Opposition alliance called I.N.D.I.A, had to be satisfied with two and one seat, respectively. The Mizo National Front (MNF), which ruled the state, had to bow out of office, yielding power to the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), securing 27 seats. Formed six years ago, the party won six seats in the 2018 election, making its presence felt in the Assembly. Its leader, Lalduhoma, who will be sworn in as chief minister on December 8, is a greenhorn in politics, though he was once a member of Parliament. The high-water mark in his life was when he was in the security ring of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The CM-designate being an apolitical figure
The responses of the CM-designate before and after the elections suggest that he sees himself as an apolitical figure. In fact, he mentioned that the people of Mizoram were fed up with the kind of politics established parties like the BJP and the Congress have been playing. He could not have been oblivious to the role, the BJP played and is playing in neighbouring Manipur, where the law and order situation is far from normal. The BJP won only 5.06 percent of votes. In contrast, the Congress won 20.8 percent of votes but managed to get only one seat. Lalduhoma attributes his success to the strong support he received from women voters. He knows only too well that his promise of introducing prohibition had found favour with the women, who are the worst sufferers of liquor addiction.
Lalduhoma has the onerous task of proving that an apolitical dispensation can provide a stable and successful government. The ZPM is, in many respects, like the Aam Aadmi Party, which limits itself to promising good education and health facilities. A political party cannot avoid taking a political stand. While the AAP claims that it is opposed to the BJP’s Hindutva, it had no compunction in supporting the Centre’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories and support the Citizenship Amendment Act, based on religion. In the process, the party lost its credibility. Regardless, how can a political party be apolitical? Let Mizoram give the answer.