Mizoram Elections 2023: Will Manipur Violence Cast A Shadow On Mizoram Polls? | Explained
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Aizawl: As Mizoram prepares to go to vote on November 7, 2023, the ethnic clashes in the neighbouring state of Manipur are expected to have a spillover effect. Following the Manipur clashes, around 13,000 people fled to Mizoram for refuge. Hence with the state heading for elections, the Manipur violence is likely to play a role.
With the influx of refugees from Manipur due to the May 3 violence, there was an increase in the number of people from the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar tribes, which is the same ethnicity as the people of Mizoram.
The current state government in Mizroram is comprised of the Mizo National Front with Zoramthanga as the present Chief Minister. MNF is also an ally of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
However, Zoramthanga's MNF has stated on numerous occasions that the party's alliance with the NDA would be "issued-based".
Post the May 3 violence, with the unification of the 'Zo' community in Mizoram, the MNF also supported the "no-confidence" motion against the ruling NDA alliance regarding the delayed action to Manipur violence.
Hence, as per experts, the Manipur violence will have a spillover effect. but won't severely impact the state elections.
Experts have also stated that Mizoram has its fair share of problems which makes it seem that the Manipur violence will only play a miniscule role when the state begins voting next week.
The intake of refugees, which also happened during the Manipur violence was nothing new for Mizoram. The northeastern state has already accommodated around 35,000 refugees from Myanmar due to the 2021 coup and over 1,000 refugees from Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, where tribals were forced to leave after a crackdown from the Army.
Apart from this, Mizoram continues to struggle with a weak economy with hundreds of crores of losses due to the African Swine Fever, smuggled betel nuts from Myanmar, rising count of AIDS, cross-border narco-terrorism, lack of jobs, lack of doctors and much more.
Hence, experts have stated that when thinking about the elections, these issues would trump Manipur violence and its spillover.
Mizoram Elections 2023 on Nov 7
Mizoram State Elections will take place on November 7, 2023. Voting will take place across 1,276 polling stations in the state, with 525 urban polling stations, and 751 rural ones.
In the current assembly, MNF holds 28 seats with six seats for the main opposition Zoram People's Movement (ZPM). Congress and BJP each have five and one seats in the state assembly, respectively.
Mizoram has a total of 851,895 registered voters, out of which, 412,969 are male, while 438,925 are female. The results for the assembly elections will be declared on December 3, 2023.