Aizawl: In yet another setback for the ruling Congress in poll-bound Mizoram, sitting MLA and former health minister Lalrinliana Sailo resigned as legislator and quit Congress on Wednesday allegedly due to the Congress government’s failure to grant district status to his constituency. Sailo tendered resignation of his seat in the assembly to speaker Hiphei and intimated his termination of membership from Congress to party leaders.
He was accompanied by former home minister and sacked Congress leader R. Lalzirliana and opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) leaders and legislators including Lalruatkima, Vanlalzawma and Lalrinawma. Lalzirliana would be inducted into MNF along with Sailo on Friday, the sources said.
Sailo’s resignation came barely three weeks after Congress vice president and home minister R. Lalzirliana resigned from the cabinet over Congress government’s failure to implement Saitual district which led to his subsequent expulsion from the party.
Speaking to reporters after submitting his resignation, Sailo attributed the reason of his resignation to the Congress government’s failure to recognize and implement Khawzawl area, the constituency he represented in the present government, as a full fledged district.
He said that the people of his constituency have been demanding district status since long time back which the Congress government had promised to implement it.
He added that the Congress Legislature Party has also dropped him and was looking out someone in his place to represent his constituency- Tuichang.
“I pay due respect to the people of my constituency who are craving for district since many years. The Congress government in its previous term promised them to fulfill their demands but failed to do so. I think implementing a separate district is not a difficult task,” he said
The 59-year-old leader from Republic veng here alleged that the state Congress was following royal line of succession like the Gandhian Congress family at the centre.
He said that he would join rival party- MNF and would be officially inducted on Friday.
He would contest the upcoming assembly polls on MNF ticket, he added.
Sailo was one of the senior Congress leaders in Mizoram and has been elected as legislator from Tuichang for the third consecutive term since 2003 and became health minister in Lal Thanhawla’s cabinet during 2009 to 2013.
Some political observers said that Sailo’s resignation from Congress could have impact on the Congress in the run-up to assembly poll.
Meanwhile, sources in MNF said resigned home minister and sacked Congress vice-president R. Lalzirliana and lone Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) MLA Lalthanliana would also switch over to MNF.
Some student leaders and journalists are also joining the MNF shortly, a senior MNF leader said.