New Delhi: Hours after senior Mizoram Legislative Assembly Speaker Hiphei resigned and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday, the Congress, the party to which the leader belonged, released new candidate names for some seats, reported ANI. Now, Kali Kumar Tongchangya would replace Amit Kumar Chakma as Congress candidate from Tuichawng. From Palak, the party is fielding KT Rokhaw. This choice of the candidate is what reportedly riled Hiphei.

The Congress had earlier named Hiphhei as its candidate for Palak but replaced him with party general secretary Rokhaw last week following reports that he might move to the BJP. Hiphei, a veteran Congress leader, was elected to the 40-member Assembly from the Palak constituency in 2013. He won the state elections six times between 1972 and 1989 from Tuipang.

Meanwhile, PTI reported that amid growing demand for his ouster, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S B Shashank said he had “no intention to hurt the sentiments” of the state’s civil societies and apologised for rankling them in any way. The Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of major civil societies and student organisations, had sought Shashank’s exit from the state, shortly after the Election Commission (EC) removed a principal secretary-level state officer Lalnunmawia Chuaungo.

A section of the media said Shashank had complained to the EC that Chuaungo was interfering with the poll process. Election to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly is scheduled to be held on November 28.

Addressing a press meet here, the CEO said he was just fulfilling his responsibilities in accordance with the instructions of the EC. “As the state chief electoral officer, it is my responsibility that I fulfil the mandate of the EC. I can only hope that the civil societies will understand my position. I am sorry if I have hurt anybody,” he said.