Mizoram election result: Some consolation for Congress, gets majority in Assembly
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After its defeat in four states, the Congress received some relief on Monday as it marched back to power for a consecutive term in Mizoram. It won 33 seats while the Mizoram Democratic Alliance won six. The 40th seat, Lawngtlai East, will have a repoll with an EVM having malfunctioned.
In 2008, the Congress had won 32 seats including Lawngtlai East; its 33 in the other 39 seats represents a gain of two. The MDA's three parties had won six seats combined in 2008, too, but they were then contesting independently of one another.
While the Congress highlighted its flagship beneficiary scheme called New Land Use Policy, "good governance" and "zero corruption", the opposition used "Mizo nationalism" as its main poll plank.
Many senior opposition leaders lost to first-time Congress candidates. Mizo National Front president and two-time chief minister Zoramthanga lost to retired bureaucrat T Sangkunga, while MNF vice-president R Lalthangliana lost to Chalrosanga in their respective seats. Both winners are first-timers; the MNF is a constituent of the MDA.
Another upset is that of the Zoram Nationalist Party's Lalduhoma, who like Zoramthanga was a hopeful for the chief minister's chair. Lalduhoma, a former IPS officer and MP who was once part of Indira Gandhi's internal security ensemble, lost in both seats he contested. He had led opinion polls for "most preferred CM" prior to the polls.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla won both seats he contested. He had given tickets to 31 of his MLAs from the same seats they won in the last polls.
Until Monday, Lalthangliana had never lost any of the assembly elections after Mizoram became a state in 1987. As one of only three MNF MLAS in the last assembly, he had led an eight-member opposition of four state parties.