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ZPM thrashes MNF to wrest power in Mizoram, new govt likely to assume office soon

IANS | December 05, 2023 02:48 AM

AIZWAL: The Chief Ministerial candidate of Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), which wrested power for the first time in Mizoram on Monday by delivering a crushing defeat to the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), said that his party would provide issue-based support to national parties but would not join any group at the national level.

IPS officer-turned-politician, Lalduhoma said: "We would not be dictated or controlled by any party from Delhi, we would take decisions on our own for the best interest of Mizoram and its people."

Lalduhoma, in a multi-corner contest, retained his Serchhip seat, defeating his nearest MNF rival J. Malsawmzuala Vanchhawng by a margin of 2, 983 votes while most of the prominent nominees of the party were won in their respective seats.

Lalduhoma, who was elected to the state Assembly for the second consecutive time, told the media that on Tuesday or Wednesday, he would meet the Governor to stake his claim to form the government and the swearing-in ceremony would be held soon.

On the other hand, accepting the defeat, outgoing Chief Minister Zoramthanga met Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati in the Raj Bhavan on Monday evening and submited his resignation letter.

"The anti-incumbency factor and Covid-19 pandemic onslaught are the main reasons for the MNF losing this election. People might not be happy with the performance of our government. I believe the new government will perform well, ” Zoramthanga told the media.

The ZPM has won 27 seats in the 40-member Assembly while the MNF was reduced to 10 seats.

The opposition Congress, which governed the mountainous border state for 22 years, has won only one seat -- Lawngtlai West.

BJP candidate and former MNF Minister K. Beichhua, who joined the saffron party weeks before the November 7 Assembly election, and his party colleague K. Hrahmo won their Siaha and Palak seats, respectively, defeating their MNF opponents.

However, Former Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo, who quit the MNF days before the polls and joined the BJP, lost his Mamit seat to MNF candidate H. Lalzirliana.

In the 2018 elections, the MNF bagged 26 seats, while the ZPM got eight. The Congress had bagged five seats and the BJP had managed to win one.

Zoramthanga lost his Aizawl East-1 seat where ZPM nominee Lalthansanga won by a margin of 2, 101 votes. Deputy Chief Minister and MNF candidate Tawnluia also his Tuichang seat to ZPM’s W. Chhuanawma by a margin of 909 votes.

Several other MNF Ministers also lost their respective seats.

State Congress President Lalsawta lost his Aizawl West-III seat to ZPM candidate V.L. Zaithanzama by a margin of 4, 582 votes.

Though his party increased the number of seats from one to two, BJP Mizoram state President Vanlalhmuaka lost his Dampa seat to MNF candidate Lalrintluanga Sailo by a margin of 310 votes.

The counting of votes for the Mizoram Assembly polls, held on November 7, began at 8 a.m. amid elaborate security arrangements in all 11 districts of the state. More than 80 per cent of the 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise on November 7 to decide the electoral fate of 174 candidates, including 16 women.

The ruling MNF, the main Opposition ZPM and the Congress had fielded candidates in all 40 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) contested four seats. The BJP had fielded candidates on 23 seats with a special focus on linguistic minority inhabited areas, especially where the Reang and Chakma tribal communities are in good numbers in the voters' list. Besides them, 27 independent candidates were also in the fray.

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