Congress tries to lure voters with free laptops in the run-up to Mizoram Assembly elections

The Congress manifesto also promised housing for the poor in rural areas and residential quarters for employees of police and education departments.

Congress has been trying hard to lure voters in the upcoming Mizoram Assembly elections to retain power for the third consecutive time in the only northeastern state having Congress government. It has promised in its election manifesto to provide free laptops every year to students who clear the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) exam for Class 10 and above.

Chief Minister and Congress Mizoram unit president, Lal Thanhawla, on Thursday, released the election manifesto in which the party has promised to continue with its two flagship programmes, New Land Use Policy (NLUP) for the farmers and New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) for unemployed youths.

“If we win again, we will continue with the New Land Use Policy (NLUP). Existing guidelines may be amended for better implementation and the quantum of assistance increased,” Lal Thanhawla said. The NLUP was launched in January 2011 to end the wasteful practice of shifting or ‘jhum’ cultivation — a process of clearing land by burning its natural vegetation before growing crops. A beneficiary of the NLUP gets around Rs 1 lakh.

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Congress has been under attack by opposing parties and church bodies for lifting the ban on the sale and purchase of liquor in the state. However, Congress has promised rehabilitation centres for addicts at different places along with counselling centres to supplement and support the efforts of NGOs and church. “We will take strict measures to control the sale of liquor in the state so that provisions of the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014, are not violated,” assured the CM.

Taking a jibe at Congress, Mizo National Front president Zoramthanga said, “Congress is playing cheap politics. They will promise the moon and stars in their manifesto. They know they will not return to power and can hence promise a car to each family in the state”.

The Congress manifesto also promised housing for the poor in rural areas and residential quarters for employees of police and education departments.

Mizoram goes to poll on November 28 and the results will be out on December 11.

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