There is a race for the formation of the local government in the Chakma Autonomous District Council in Southern Mizoram and both the BJP and the MNF are running out of time.
Both the parties have separately staked a claim before the Governor of Mizoram, Kummanam Rajasekharan at Raj Bhawan in Aizawl for government formation at Kamalanagar. Both MNF and BJP have claimed to have majority necessary to form the next government. Each of these parties is emboldened by the recent electoral successes of their own: while the BJP won the local MLA seat (36-Tuichawng), the MNF formed the ministry in the state. Mr BD Chakma of BJP has defeated MNF candidate Shri RM Chakma, who is also the chief of MNF’s CADC unit.
Currently, the Chakma ADC is without an Executive Committee following the withdrawal of support by the 7 Congress councilors just ahead of the recently concluded Mizoram Assembly elections. The withdrawal of support by the Congress was a well-calculated move to put BJP under pressure in 36-Tuichawng assembly constituency.
Shri Shanti Jiban Chakma of the BJP is the incumbent Chief Executive Member of CADC but recently he has been under pressure from the MNF to resign or dissolve the Executive Committee. SJ Chakma alleged physical assault during an opposition demonstration against him at Kamalanagar on 6th December 2018.
The CADC is a local autonomous government for the ethnic Chakma minorities, constituted in 1972 under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India, along with the ADCs for Lai and Mara ethnic communities. The CADC has 20 MDC seats. In the latest local elections held in April 2018, the MNF emerged as the largest party winning 8 seats, while the Congress and BJP won 7 and 5 seats respectively. The local members of the Council are called Members of District Councils (MDCs).
In a first, a coalition government in the name of United Legislature Party (ULP) was formed by the arch rivals Congress (7 MDCs) and BJP (5 MDCs) after the CADC MDC elections threw a fractured mandate.
Currently, the strength of the house is 19 following the demise of one MDC belonging to the MNF party. So, the minimum number of MDCs needed is 10 to form the government.
Both the parties (BJP and MNF) have claimed to have the majority (half-way mark is 10 members). An MNF leader has shared a photo of 11 MDCs meeting the Mizoram’s Governor at Raj Bhawan on 18th December 2018. However there is a twist. Out of the 11, 7 are MNF, 3 Congress and 1 BJP. Only one member of the BJP out of five cannot desert the BJP without facing the Anti-Defection Law. Anti-Defection Law requires one third members to defect the party to avoid disqualification. As regards to the 3 Congress members who were part of the MNF-led delegation, one (Shri Mohan Chakma, Congress MDC) was seen immediately thereafter in a photograph shared by none other than Nirupam Chakma, Vice President of Mizoram BJP (who himself is from the CADC) in the twitter, showing a “V” Sign and smiling. Also seen in the picture with the said Congress MDC is Dr BD Chakma, BJP MLA.
So, the Congress house seems to be divided into two factions. Any faction must have minimum of 3 MDCs to protect themselves from the Anti-Defection Law. Else, the defecting MDCs will face disqualification.
With the photo shared by BJP leader Nirupam Chakma is the caption: “BJP led government in CADC to continue”.
But everyone is waiting for the official order from the Governor of Mizoram.