Mizoram assembly elections are happening, as you read this!
The polls are crucial for the parties as they seek to woo the voters with their promises and agendas. One of the critical issues that has emerged in the campaign is the role and aspirations of the youth, who constitute a significant segment of the electorate. The youth of Mizoram have been facing various challenges, such as unemployment, migration, drug abuse and lack of opportunities. According to the 2011 census, Mizoram has the highest literacy rate in India at 91.58 per cent but also has a high unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent, as per the 2017-18 Periodic Labour Force Survey. Many young people have left the state in search of better prospects.
To address these concerns, the district administrations in Mizoram organised the ‘Young Voters’ Festivals’ to motivate the state's youth to participate actively in the November 7 assembly polls. The festivals aimed to create awareness among the young voters about their rights and responsibilities and showcase their talents and achievements. The celebrations were held in collaboration with various organisations, such as NGOs, schools and colleges.
The political parties have also tried to address young voters with their promises and programmes. The Congress has promised to create one lakh jobs for the youth if it is voted to power again. The party has also announced a scheme called the Young Mizo Entrepreneurs Programme (YmElevate), which will provide startup funds and jobs to the youth.
The BJP, on the other hand, has claimed that it will change Mizoram, promising to implement the central schemes and projects in Mizoram, such as Ayushman Bharat, Ujjwala Yojana and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. The BJP has also highlighted its achievements in other northeastern states, where it has formed governments or is part of ruling coalitions. The party has focused its campaign on the Mamit constituency, hoping to win a seat for the first time.
The elections in Mizoram are expected to witness a close contest between the Congress and the BJP, with other parties like the Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and National People’s Party (NPP) also in the fray. The outcome of the polls will have a bearing on the future of Mizoram and its youth, who are looking for a better life and a brighter future.