GUWAHATI: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that hisparty would reach out to “friends” in rivals Congress, Mizo National Front(MNF) and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) if it finds itself within strikingdistance of forming its first government in Mizoram.“This is BJP’s first serious election in Mizoram. But we are certainly goingmake a mark. Whether we will form the government on our own and whatwill be the post-poll scenario, it is difficult to predict now. But yes, we havemany friends in all the political parties, including Congress, MNF and ZPM.So, in the post-poll situation, if we are short of just a few seats, it (forminggovernment) should not be a problem.”
Mizoram, which is going to the polls on November 28, has a 40-seat assembly. Sarma is overseeing BJP’s electioneering inMizoram. He steered BJP’s rule in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland, all in alliances with a host of regional parties. Healso helped install the first BJP government in Tripura with IPFT as a partner.
“If we win 12, 13 or 14 seats, getting the rest will not be a problem,” said Sarma, a former Congressman who joined BJP beforethe assembly polls in Assam in 2016.
Talking about the popular notion that BJP with its pro-Hindutva image would face flak in Christian-majority Mizoram, Sarma saidthat’s only a creation of Congress. “In Assam we have inducted three ministers from Christian community. Congress has never done this. In Arunachal and Nagaland, half the ministers are Chrsitians. Where is the problem between Christianity and BJP?This is just a mindset of Congress. BJP has governed every Christian-majority state and wherever Christians live, they vote forBJP overwhelmingly,” he added.
Sarma, who has been extensively campaigning in Mizoram, refused to make any predictions on the results. “BJP is contesting39 seats and I am sure we will get a substantial number. Putting a number today will not be good,” he said.
News source: The Times of India