Mizoram’s opposition party Mizo National Front (MNF) has slammed chief minister Lal Thanhawla for participating in the Hindu festivals Durga Puja and Dussehra in Kolkata this month.
MNF vice president R Tlanghmingthanga said, “We strongly condemn Lal Thanhawla for attending the celebrations and hope that he will seek forgiveness from God.” His party, he added, regarded it as “betraying his God and forsaking his Christianity”. Tlanghmingthanga said Thanhawla was also “guilty” of breaking a coconut — a Hindu ritual — to inaugurate the Tuivawl Bridge in Mizoram on January 24 and the Mizoram House in New Delhi last year.
Lal Thanhawla declined to comment beyond saying the MNF had nothing to do with his faith. But his Congress party underscored the MNF’s “narrow-mindedness” while pointing out that the CM and his wife Lal Riliani attended a Dussehra programme in Kolkata as chief guests.
“In a secular country, a chief minister has no religious barriers. Besides, the Kolkata programme was of a cultural nature,” said a Congress spokesperson in state capital Aizawl.
“The MNF must have forgotten that their leader Zoramthanga had entered a gurdwara outside Mizoram sporting a turban,” said the spokesperson. “Did the late President Giani Zail Singh convey an anti-Sikh message by attending church services in Mizoram?” he asked.