Aizawl, Dec 8

M

izoram's new Chief Minister Lalduhoma on Friday said that his Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) government’s priority would be to empower farmers, give priority to agriculture, improve the financial situation, and end corruption.

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ZPM President Lalduhoma, who has become the sixth person to hold the Mizoram Chief Minister's post, said that even before the oath-taking ceremony, he had, after his party’s win, already raised these issues before the Central government.

"We would be honest in our work. We would be apolitical while running the government and taking decisions. Complaint and suggestion boxes would be placed at all Departments. Lokayukta would be strengthened and corruption cases (of the previous government) would be referred to the CBI for their thorough probe," he said during his first media briefing after assuming office.

He said that government officials and employees were not free during the earlier regime to have an opinion and now they would be given a free voice within the purview of their administrative work.

"Financial situation in Mizoram is bad. The RBI had warned the state government earlier. Our government would maintain strict austerity in governance. Each Minister would be allotted one vehicle plus one backup vehicle. I request the public to stop inviting Ministers and MLAs as chief guests in all events,” Lalduhoma said.

To settle the inter-state border issues with Assam, boundary committees would be established, he said, adding that emphasis would be given to curb drug menace and alcohol abuse besides smuggling of contraband from Myanmar.

The septuagenarian IPS officer-turned-politician Lalduhoma was sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Mizoram on Friday.

Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati administered the oath of office and secrecy to Lalduhoma and 11 other ministers, including seven cabinet minister and four ministers of state, at a function at the Raj Bhavan here.

Lalrinpuii is the lone woman minister in the 12-member council of ministers.

Seven of the 12 ministers are first-time winners. The other ministers are K. Sapdanga, Vanlalhlana, C. Lalsawivunga, Lalthansanga, Dr. Vanlalthlana, P.C. Vanlalruata, Lalrinpuii -- all cabinet ministers rank, F. Rodingliana, B. Lalchhanzova, Prof. Lalnilawma and Lalnghinglova Hmar -- all ministers of state.

Outgoing Chief Minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) leader Zoramthanga, former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla (Congress), several political leaders, newly-elected MLAs, senior civil and security officials and many dignitaries were present at the swearing-in ceremony.

Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, the Chief Minister distributed the portfolios among the ministers, while retaining the Finance, Law and Judicial departments, among others.

Seniormost Minister K. Sapdanga will be new Home Minister while PWD and Transport Departments were allotted to Vanlalhlana, Environment, Forest and Climate Change department assigned to Lalthansanga, and School, Higher and Technical Education Departments were allotted to Vanlalthlana. The Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Resources Departments were allotted to P.C. Vanlalruata while Health, Social Welfare, Tribal Affairs and Tourism Departments were given to lone woman minister Lalrinpuii.

The ZPM, which was registered as a political party only in 2019, voted out the MNF government in the November 7 polls, securing 27 seats in the 40-member assembly. The four-year old party got eight seats in the 2018 polls, when its candidates contested the elections as independents.

--IANS

Empowering farmers, improving fiscal position, curbing corruption priorities of ZPM govt : Mizoram CM Lalduhoma

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