Aizawl: With a state-wide bandh call given by an umbrella organisation against the Citizen (Amendment) Bill, Mizoram Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan on Saturday addressed an almost-empty ground on Republic Day.

Reports suggest that there was no member of public and only ministers, legislators and top officials were present. The boycott call was given by NGO Coordination Committee, an organisation of civil society groups and student bodies.

Officials said six armed contingents participated in parade. Up to 30 contingents traditionally take part in the annual event.

In other district headquarters, the deputy commissioners unfurled the tricolour in the absence of senior officials and public, as was the case in sub-divisional and block headquarters. Despite the presence of placard-carrying protesters near the venues, the celebrations took place peacefully.

In his address, Rajasekharan said stringent measures would be taken to protect state borders, and welfare schemes for the development of people residing in border areas would be given due importance. He said measures would be taken for execution of Mizoram Village-Level Citizen Registration, and emphasised that the state government is committed to preserve and promote the Mizo identity, tradition and values.

“This government will endeavour to work for the unity and brotherhood of all Mizo people living within India and across the globe within our constitutional framework,” he said.

The Governor said Mizoram would introduce the Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP), a “holistic inclusive development programme aimed at bringing in socio- economic transformation”. The SEDP would accelerate growth in all key sectors where the state has tremendous potential, he said.

Hinting that prohibition on liquor would be reimposed in the state, he said, “In keeping with our election manifesto, necessary measures will be taken to repeal the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014, implemented in the state since January 15, 2015.”

Rajasekharan added that the government would continue to work towards making Mizoram the “cleanest state in India”.