Decade later MNF back in Mizoram, Congress’ last Northeast bastion (Fourth Lead)

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Aizawl, Dec 11 (IANS) The MNF on Tuesday returned to power in Mizoram after a decade, securing 26 seats, five more than an absolute majority in the 40-member Assembly. With this, the MNF has ousted the Congress from power in its last bastion in the Northeast.

The Mizo National Front (MNF) had got only five seats in the 2013 Assembly polls, while the Congress had won 34. This time, the ruling Congress has got only five seats.

In a significant political development, Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) — a forum of six local parties in Mizoram and the NGO-turned-newly-floated party the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) — secured eight seats out of the 40 seats it had contested for as Independents.

The Congress had taken power in the state in both 2008 and 2013 elections.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made its entry into the Mizoram Assembly winning the Tuichawng seat.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla lost in both Champhai South and Serchhip constituencies to MNF’s T.J. Lalnuntluanga and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) President Lalduhoma respectively.

MNF supremo and Chief Ministerial candidate Zoramthanga won the Aizawl East-I seat for thea fifth term, defeating Independent candidate K. Sapdanga.

Buddha Dhan Chakma, a Minister in the Congress government, who just before the November 28 polls joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won in Chakma tribal-dominated Tuichawng constituency defeating his MNF rival by 1,594 votes.

Former IPS officer and security in-charge of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) chief Lalduhoma defeated outgoing Chief Minister Thanhawla in Serchhip by 410 votes. Lalduhoma quit the Congress two years ago before forming the ZPM.

Popular Aizawl Football Club (Aizawl FC) owner Robert Romawia Royte, who contested on MNF ticket from Aizawl East-II, also won.

The BJP had undertaken intense efforts to oust the Congress in Mizoram after forming governments on its own or in alliance in the others in the Northeast.

The MNF, a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), ruled Mizoram for 10 years — 1998-2003 and 2003-2008.

However, both the BJP and MNF fielded candidates separately in 40 and 39 seats, respectively this time.



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