In the poll-bound State of Mizoram, Rev L R Colney, a former pastor and BJP candidate, has been expelled by the Mission for Christ (MFC), a well-known parachurch in Mizoram, as reported by United News of India.
Rev Colney was an executive member of the body and a full-time missionary. In the first list of candidates released by the BJP for Mizoram, out of total 13 candidates 2 are former pastors, Rev Colney being one of them.
Another executive member of Mission for Christ is a candidate of the Mizo National Front (MNF). Rev Colney had accused the MFC of double standards and said, “this is surprising decision and reflects double standards as the MFC has not taken any decision against the MNF candidate R Lalthangliana, who is also an executive member of MFC”. Rev Colney who is contesting from the Azwal East I assembly segment expressing his seriousness for the election said, “I am very much serious about the election. This expulsion seems only a part of the politics. I am confident of winning and we, the BJP will do extremely well in the Nov 28 polls”.
The other BJP candidate Rev Lalruata is a member of the United Pentecostal Mission, and he has the support of his colleagues. He is contesting from the Lunglei east seat against sitting Congress legislator Lalhimpuia and the MNF nominee Lawmawma Tochhawng. Responding to the expulsion of Rev Colney he said, “I am unfazed by what happened with our friend Rev Colney. In my case, there is no problem”.
Rev Colney who feels that BJP coming into political reckoning in predominantly Christian stronghold Mizoram would be like ‘heavenly blessings’ for the development of the northeastern state, said that he does not mind the action against him and asserted that his decision to serve the people will continue. “I am the founder member of Restoration India Mission (RIM) and we are working in various parts of India including Odisha, West Bengal and parts of Chhattisgarh”, he added. Rev Colney feels that it would be erroneous to describe BJP as anti-Christian. He pointed out that anti-conversion laws were passed in a number of States when Congress was in power at the Centre.
Meanwhile, the Mission for Christ trying to defend their action of expulsing Rev Colney but taking no action against the MNF candidate R Lalthangliana, in its statement said,”We were shocked by the fact that our executive member and a missionary Rev Dr L R Colney was one of the selected candidates of the BJP”.
MFC president Rev Lalchungnunga explained, “there is no politics. Colney is like my son but our supporters have not understood him. Moreover, he is a full-time missionary and cannot take part in politics”.
The Rev Lalchungnunga further justified that MNF candidate Lalthangliana is only an executive member while Rev Colney is a full-time missionary.