Mi­zo­ram im­passe ends af­ter EC team meets protest­ing NGOs

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - NATION | MY INDIA MY VOTE - Ut­pal Parashar ut­pal.parashar@htlive.com

GUWA­HATI: The week-long po­lit­i­cal im­passe in Mi­zo­ram ended on Fri­day with a team of the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) of­fi­cials as­sur­ing the in­flu­en­tial NGOs and civil so­ci­ety groups that they will apprise the poll body about the de­mand to re­place the state’s chief elec­toral of­fi­cer (CEO).

Af­ter an hour-long meet­ing in Aizawl on Fri­day evening be­tween a high-level EC team and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Mi­zo­ram NGO Co­or­di­na­tion Com­mit­tee (MNCC), it was also de­cided that Bru refugees from Mi­zo­ram re­sid­ing in Tripura re­lief camps will have to come to Mi­zo­ram to cast their votes for the No­vem­ber 28 polls. A pro­posal to let the refugees to vote in their camps had an­gered the lo­cal Mizo pop­u­la­tion and civil so­ci­ety groups.

The stand­off started on Oc­to­ber 29 with CEO SB Shashank com­plain­ing to the EC about al­leged in­ter­fer­ence in the re­vi­sion of elec­toral rolls of Bru refugees by Mi­zo­ram’s prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary (home) Lal­nun­mawia Chuaungo. The EC or­dered the trans­fer of Chuaungo -- a Mizo IAS of­fi­cer from Gu­jarat cadre and on in­ter­state dep­u­ta­tion to Mi­zo­ram -- out­side the state, trig­ger­ing protests in the state.

The MNCC had given an ul­ti­ma­tum to Shashank on No­vem­ber 2 to leave the state by No­vem­ber 5. With the CEO fail­ing to meet that dead­line, thou­sands of Mi­zos had demon­strated on the streets of Aizawl and other towns in the state on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­clud­ing the rul­ing Congress and the BJP also sided with the MNCC. Chief min­is­ter Lal Than­hawla and state BJP chief JV Hluna wrote to prime min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi seek­ing his in­ter­fer­ence to re­move Shashank.

Af­ter Fri­day’s meet­ing, the MNCC claimed that they had re­ceived as­sur­ance that Shashank will be re­moved. “The of­fi­cial process will take 2-3 days, but the EC team as­sured this to us in the meet­ing,” Van­lal­ru­ata, chair­per­son of MNCC, said. The EC re­fused to com­ment on the mat­ter but of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter in the EC in New Delhi said the com­mis­sion will take a call on Shashank when its team re­turns from the tour.

THE EC TEAM AS­SURED PROTEST­ING OUT­FITS THAT THEY WOULD APPRISE POLL BODY ABOUT DE­MAND TO RE­PLACE STATE’S CHIEF ELEC­TORAL OF­FI­CER

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