As Mizoram goes to polls, Congress, MNF frustrate women

As Mizoram goes to polls, Congress, MNF frustrate women

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Aizawl, November 17, 2018:

As in other states of the Northeast, women in Mizoram have been frustrated again by the political parties as the state braces for the November 28 Assembly elections.

There are just 15 women among the 209 candidates who will vie in the state’s 40 Assembly segments. Interestingly, the ruling Congress has fielded just one woman. And the principal opposition party “Mizo National Front” (MNF), which is hoping to upset the Congress applecart, could not find a single “suitable” woman candidate.

The BJP, which is optimistic about its poll prospects, and the Zoram Thar fielded six candidates each. The remaining two other women candidates were fielded by the Zoram People’s Movement.

The Congress and the MNF are the two major political parties. The Congress said it did not find many women with “leadership qualities”. The MNF said it did not find any suitable candidates.

“You give tickets to candidates who you think will win. Unfortunately, we did not find strong women contenders,” the Congress said.

Lalawmpuii Chawngthu, a minister in the Lal Thanhawla ministry, is the Congress’s lone woman candidate. She had created a record of sorts last year when she was inducted into the ministry. She is the second woman in Mizoram to be a minister.

While the MNF said it did not come across any suitable women candidates, the People’s Represent for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), which is fighting against corruption and contesting an election for the first time, said nobody had approached it seeking ticket.

The Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), which has been working for years for the uplift of women, has appealed to the voters to vote in favour of women candidates, whether they are from the Congress, BJP, MNF or whatever parties.