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Mizoram Minister resigns following pressure from NGOs
Correspondent
 AIZAWL, Aug 21 - Mizoram Minister of State for Fisheries Buddha Dhan Chakma today tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, even as Mizoram NGOs Coordination Committee stepped up its demand for his removal from the Council of Ministers.

In his resignation letter, Chakma said that four Chakma students who qualified for MBBS seats under the State quota were denied admission in medical colleges in the country. Two of the students belonged to his constituency.

Chakma said, State Higher & Technical Education Minister R Romawia’s press statement clearly stated that the MBBS quota of Mizoram would be reserved exclusively for Zo ethnic people of Mizoram. “It is clear that he is not giving MBBS seat to any non-Zo ethnic student, which is a clear denial of seats to the four meritorious Chakma students, which is not acceptable to me,” he said.

“My presence as the Minister of State in your esteemed Ministry may create uneasiness to maintain the glory of democracy of our State where all of us irrespective of caste, creed and religion should feel at home under your dynamic leadership,” Chakma said.

Sources from CMO said Chakma’s resignation is yet to be accepted by the Chief Minister.

BD Chakma, formerly Chief Executive Member of the Chakma Autonomous District Council, contested in the 2013 State Assembly elections from Tuichawng constituency on Congress ticket, and got elected. He was then made a member of the Council of Ministers, holding Sericulture and Fisheries portfolios.

Mizoram NGOs Coordination Committee has threatened to launch an agitation for the removal of BD Chakma from the Lal Thanhawla Ministry. An ultimatum to this effect had been submitted to the Chief Minister on July 27.

“We will wait till August 25 and if nothing happens, the Committee will meet again on August 27 to chalk out the next course of action,” Lalbiakzuala, leader of the NGOs Coordination Committee said.

The coordination committee comprises of major civil societies in Mizoram and students’ organisations.

The coordination committee alleged that BD Chakma had instigated a protest among Chakma community against the construction of Zofate Chawlbuk (a rest house) at Borapansury, a village under Chakma Autonomous District Council in southern Mizoram by Mizoram apex students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) in 2014. This led to the arrest of many Mizo students’ leaders by police without any reason.

It is also alleged that Chakma later played a key role, even though he was a Minister who has taken oath under the Constitution of India, in boycotting elections in Chakma ADC.

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