BJP to contest all 40 seats in Mizoram: Amit Shah

Aizawl, Oct 17: Mizoram would celebrate Christmas under the BJP-led state government, said Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Wednesday, adding the party would field candidates in all the 40 Assembly seats of the state where polls are due on November 28."People of Mizoram would celebrate the next Christmas in the state under the BJP-led state government. Congress would be voted out in the assembly polls," he said while addressing party's booth-level workers' meet at R. Dengthuama Indoor Stadium in Aizawl.Shah, who came here after holding meetings with Assam party leaders and state Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati, said the BJP would field candidates in all the 40 constituencies on its own without alliance with opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) or the ruling Congress.Blaming Congress "as a source of all corruption" and for perpetuating a dynastic rule, he asked the people to vote BJP for development and for ending corruption.The BJP chief alleged that Congress government in Mizoram has not implemented many development schemes initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."If BJP forms government in Mizoram, all 100-plus Central flagship programmes would be implemented successfully," said the BJP leader who also inaugurated BJP's state office, Atal Bhavan, in Aizawl.Mizoram BJP state president Prof John V Hluna, Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma accompanied Shah.Sarma, who is the convener of the BJP-led anti-Congress alliance, North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), is the party's in-charge for Mizoram elections.BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav earlier announced that his party would likely field candidates in all the 40 assembly seats, but the party might forge an alliance with the like-minded parties in a post-poll scenario.BJP leaders in Mizoram have been asserting that they would make all-out efforts to remove Congress from power in the state to "paint the North-East with the saffron colour."Mizoram is the only state ruled by Congress in northeast India, comprising eight states.The BJP has been making concerted efforts to win the Christian-dominated state, after having formed governments on its own or joining hands with allies in the remaining six northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.Meanwhile, the ruling Congress during the past one month suffered a major setback after state Home Minister and senior party leader R. Lalzirliana and two sitting legislators, Lalrinliana Sailo and Buddha Dhan Chakma, both former ministers, resigned from the party.Lalzirliana and Sailo joined MNF and Chakma joined BJP on Wednesday in presence of Amit Shah.Sources in the MNF said both the Congress deserters are likely to be the candidates of MNF, a local party, which ruled the state for two terms (1998-2003 and 2003-2008).The ruling Congress on October 11 has announced 36 candidates for the upcoming polls, dropping eight sitting MLAs and fielding 12 new faces.State Congress president and Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla will contest from two constituencies -- his home turf Serchhip and Champhai South.Among the 36 candidates, four are below 40 years, eight are between 41 and 50 years, 14 in the age group of 51 to 60, four are between 61 and 70 years and five candidates, including Lal Thanhawla, are above 70 years.Both Congress and main opposition MNF led by party President and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga have already begun their election campaign.

IANS