ITANAGAR: A political development following the results of a local election in Mizoram has left many baffled with the traditional rivals BJP and Congress joining hands, purportedly to keep a regional political party out of power.

Results for the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) election were declared this past Monday, with the Mizo National Front (MNF) coming out as the single largest party winning eight of the 20 seats while the Congress won six, and the BJP bagging five. The result of one seat was stayed by the High Court.

While it was expected that the MNF and the BJP which are partners in the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance would come together to form the council’s governing body, a surprise development came when the BJP and Congress elected leaders came together in an apparent move to keep the MNF out.

Party representatives from both the BJP and Congress have been tight-lipped about the surprise development, refusing to divulge details of what necessitated the move or if it was approved by the high command of either party.

What has been confirmed is that the governor has been approached by the members of the latest ‘alliance partners’ to form the executive committee. As of Friday, Raj Bhavan was yet to give its consent.

There has been no official word from the parties in either Mizoram or New Delhi. However, on the day the results were declared, BJP national president, Amit Shah, had tweeted a congratulatory message saying, “BJP-MNF, between them, have won 13 out of the 20 seats” and that the result “marks beginning of BJP’s rise in Mizoram”.

He hasn’t spoken about the new development since.

A PTI report had said that the Mizoram sports minister and Congress leader Zodintluanga said the post-poll alliance was forged after local leaders of both the parties reached an agreement.

However, this would not have any bearing in Delhi or in the coming election to the state assembly, he said.

The state BJP leadership was allegedly not happy with the development.

BJP state president JV Hluna could not be contacted for a comment despite repeated attempts by The Citizen.

Sources in Mizoram said that the MNF coming out as the single largest party came as a surprise.

The CADC is one of the three autonomous district councils of Mizoram and was created on 29 April 1972 under the Sixth Schedule to the Indian Constitution. A large majority of the 45,307 people (as per the 2011 Census) living in the CADC’s jurisdiction are Buddhist in an otherwise Christian-majority state.