AIZAWL, March 22 - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named veteran politician and Mizoram State unit vice president Nirupam Chakma as its candidate for the Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat.
BJP is the last to announce its candidate for the election that will be held on April 11.
A veteran Congress leader, Nirupam is also the first Minister from Chakma community in Mizoram. He quit Congress in 2015 and joined the BJP.
Nirupam first contested the State Assembly polls in 1987 from Chawngte seat and was elected. He again won from the constituency in 1989 and was sworn in as a Minister of State on January 25, 1989 to become the first ever Chakma Minister in the State.
He was again inducted as Minister of State after winning the State Assembly polls in 1993.
He again won the State Assembly polls in 1998 and 2003 when the Congress sat in the opposition and was denied a Ministry berth when the party returned to power in the 2008 State Assembly polls when Nihar Kanti Chakma, a younger man was inducted as Minister of State.
He was denied the Congress ticket in the 2013 State Assembly polls and was not given the post of Chief Executive Member of the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC).
There are five candidates in the fray now. While Congress and Zoram People’s Movement have fielded a young leader Lalnghinglova (Tetea) Hmar as their common candidate, the Mizoram National Front has fielded former DDK director C Lalrosanga. PRISM has nominated TB C Lalvenchhunga as its candidate, while Lalhriatrenga Chhangte, who took voluntary retirement as Deputy Controller of Mines under the Central Government, will contest as independent candidate.
With the State vehemently opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), the Bill is the major campaign agenda for the opposition alliance.