Congress scripts massive win in Mizoram

Lal ThanhawlaAfter resounding losses in MP, Delhi and Rajasthan, and the frustrations in Chhattisgarh, Congress finally has some cause to be happy after it won by a big margin in Mizoram. Seen here Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla

In a mild consolation for the Congress in this poll season, the party marched back to power in Mizoram for the second consecutive term by riding on the "success" of it's flagship beneficiary scheme called New Land Use Policy, and using it's poll planks of "good governance" and "zero corruption".

In a major blow for the opposition, most of the senior leaders have lost, some to first-time MLA candidates contesting on a Congress ticket. Prominent among them are MNF president and two-time CM Zoramthanga who lost to first timer T Sangkunga, a retired bureaucrat. Another is Dr R Lalthangliana, the MNF Vice president and Leader of Opposition in the last assembly, who lost to first-timer Chalrosanga. This is the first loss for Dr R Lalthangliana in a general assembly since the formation of the state of Mizoram.

Confident of a second straight term, four-time Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had given tickets to 31 of his MLAs (the party had 32 legislators in the previous 40-seat assembly) in the same seats they won from in the last elections, while he himself stood in two constituencies - his bastion Serchhip and neighboring Hrangturzo. He won from both.

While the verdict is clear, a re-poll will be held at one polling booth in Lawngtlai due to an electronic voting machine (EVM). As per the last count, the Congress candidate was up by 83 votes.

Even in their campaign speeches, Congress candidates stressed, "We are going to win again, so please know how miserable it is to be in a constituency represented by an opposition MLA and vote for Congress candidates."

The NLUP was also a common refrain, along with promises of continuing it if the party returns to power. Planned projects including hydro-power projects and infrastructure such as roads were also common themes.

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