Lalduhoma's ZPM defeated Zoramthanga's MNF in Mizoram
Mizoram's Chief Minister-designate Lalduhoma on Wednesday said he will meet Home Minister Amit Shah and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar in Delhi soon to discuss the issues of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh, and displaced Kuki tribes from neighbouring crisis-hit Manipur who have taken shelter in Mizoram.
Lalduhoma's Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), a regional political party formed by merging six parties, had dethroned the Mizo National Front's (MNF) Zoramthanga in the recent state election.
Some 32,000 people from Myanmar have taken shelter in Mizoram after the junta took over that country in February 2021. Over 1,000 people from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh have also fled to Mizoram following ethnic clashes.
At least 13,000 people of the Kuki tribes have come from Manipur.
"Our government would try to provide better relief to all the refugees compared to that by the outgoing MNF government," Lalduhoma said.
"I dialled Amit Shah and S Jaishankar on Tuesday. I would soon meet both of them in Delhi to discuss how the Centre and the state government can jointly look after the Myanmar and Bangladesh refugees and displaced people from Manipur," the Chief Minister-elect said.
His predecessor Zoramthanga had an open-arms policy of welcoming refugees from Myanmar who share kinship ties, despite India not having a fully defined policy for refugees. This has led to concerns among other communities over fears of massive demographic changes over time.
Zoramthanga's stand had also differed with the Centre's opinion on the matter, and it had become a source of strain in ties between the two.
The incoming Chief Minister's views on refugees are not much different from Zoramthanga's, though the ZPM has criticised the MNF over not doing enough to help Chin-Kuki refugees.
During campaigning, Lalduhoma told NDTV on November 4: "As the saying goes, blood is thicker than water. The people from Manipur as well as Myanmar, they are our kith and kin, our flesh and blood. They are our brothers and sisters. We can't betray them when they are in a difficult situation. And in fact not only MNF, every political party, NGOs and even the churches, we're behind them... And regarding Zo unification or Greater Mizoram, whatever you call it, we all are behind this. It is the dream of the Mizos that a day will come when all the Mizo people divided due to the British's policy of divide and rule will be under a single administrative unit. That day will come one day. This is our dream. We are looking forward. This is not a private property of the MNF alone. It is a dream of all the Mizos."