In a complete role-change among Christian-dominated Mizoram’s political parties, the Congress has begun a campaign trying to paint the opposition as a group that is communal, one that favours Hinduism and is even “the Antichrist”.
In the past few days, the ruling party has issued front-page advertisements in local dailies asking the electorate to “be afraid of groups that favour a particular religion”, referring to the seven-party alliance United Democratic Front’s proposed aim of joining the NDA at the Centre, post-Lok Sabha elections.
In the run-up to the state assembly polls last November, it was the opposition that had relied on the communal card. One of the main planks the opposition parties employed was a tilak on the forehead of Congress president and Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
The Congress also made a counter attack through posters showing world leaders, including the Pope taking part in functions of other religions and the late MNF-founder and president Laldenga at a gurdwara.
This time it is the Congress that has made the first move. In a press conference this week, Congress candidate C L Ruala had begun his address first saying, “There has never been any election like this when the RSS, the Bajrang Dal and the Sangh Parivar in general have taken the initiative to ensure that the BJP comes to power. It is unfortunate that some parties from Mizoram have agreed to work with communal forces. I think they will regret this in future.”
While most of the UDF’s constituent parties have remained quiet on the issue this time, the state unit of the BJP has condemned the Congress’ poll plank and had also officially complained against Lal Thanhawla’s reported comments where he termed the party as “the Antichrist.”