Aizawl (Mizoram),March 1 : The opposition Congress on Monday tendered an apology to churches and civil society organisations of Mizoram for allowing opening of liquor shops in the Christian-majority state six years ago, which, it said, led to the party’s defeat in the 2018 assembly polls.
Senior Mizoram Congress leader Lal Thanzara also expressed regret for the “wrongs” committed by the government between 2008 and 2018, when the party was in power.
“We opened wine shops and issued alcohol permits against the interests of churches and NGOs, which was the main reason for our defeat in the assembly polls,” Lal Thanzara told a press conference at south Mizorams Lunglei town.
The previous Congress government headed by Lal Thanhawla allowed opening of wine shops in the dry state in March 2015, and it became a major issue before the assembly election three years later.
While the then ruling Congress was against total prohibition, the Mizo National Front wanted a complete ban on alcohol. The Congress was defeated in the election and, after returning to power, the MNF re-imposed the ban in 2019.
“Our leaders have promised not to issue liquor permits if we are voted back to power in the next assembly polls in 2023. We tender an apology to the churches and NGOs for our errors,” said Lal Thanzara, former health minister.
The brother of Lal Thanhawla, the state Congress president, also said that the party is learning from its past mistakes and is reforming itself so that people vote it back to power.
Congress leader and former finance minister Lalsawta, who was also present at the press conference, alleged that the MNF government led by Zoramthanga has miserably failed in fiscal management.
He claimed that the Congress government had taken measures that improved the financial condition of the state.
( With Agency inputs)