Mizoram: Assembly elections

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The results

The results of the Mizoram assembly elections, 2018
Comparisons with the 2013 assembly elections.
From: Prabin Kalita, December 12, 2018: The Times of India

See graphic:

The results of the Mizoram assembly elections, 2018
Comparisons with the 2013 assembly elections

MNF sweeps Mizoram

Prabin Kalita, MNF sweeps Mizoram, NE now ‘Cong-mukt’, December 12, 2018: The Times of India

Independents Win More Than GOP; CM Loses Both Seats

Mizo National Front (MNF), an NDA constituent, returned to power on Tuesday after 10 years in Christian-majority Mizoram, reducing Congress to single figures. Its resounding victory will offer some solace to BJP, which suffered big electoral setbacks in the Hindi heartland.

Led by former guerrilla leader Zoramthanga, the pro-Church, pro-liquor ban MNF won 26 of the 40 assembly seats. Congress could get just five seats, three less than the Independents owing allegiance to the regional Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM). Adding to the humiliation, five-time sitting Congress chief minister Lal Thanhawla lost both the seats — Serchhip and Champhai South — that he had contested.

With the fall of the Grand Old Party in Mizoram, where Christians comprise 97% of the population, the seven-state northeast region has now become “Congress-mukt”. Over the past two years, BJP has been able to grab power in the six other NE states — Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya — either on its own strength or by aligning with regional forces. The party managed to win its first assembly seat in Mizoram with Buddha Dhan Chakma emerging victorious from Tuichawng.

Quick in celebrating MNF’s victory, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who heads the North East Democratic Alliance (Neda), tweeted: “With Mizoram, constituents of #NEDA will head govt in entire northeast. We worked towards it tirelessly for last three years under leadership of @narendramodi. Congratulations to Pu Zoramthanga for historic win of #MNF in #Mizoram. Meanwhile, @BJP4India also opens its account in Mizoram.”

In the spring of 2016, days after BJP ousted Congress from power in Assam, the saffron party and its regional allies had founded Neda, the northeast version of NDA, of which MNF is a member. But MNF and BJP fought the election separately, which many attribute to the state’s religious sensitiveness.

Zoramthanga thanked “God and my people” for MNF’s victory. “I am delighted that my predictions have come true. I had said we would win between 25 and 30 seats, and Congress would get fewer than 10,” remarked the 74-year-old MNF chief, a key leader of the 1966-87 Mizo rebellion that forced Delhi to deploy IAF aircraft, the first and only instance of use of air power against civilians in the country.

After the verdict, MNF reiterated its commitment to impose a liquor ban, which Congress had diluted by allowing brewing of local wine and restricted sale of IMFL. The partial relaxation of prohibition had upset the church. Within two hours of the results, Zoramthanga called a meeting of newly elected MNF legislators who unanimously chose him leader of the legislature party. Soon after this, he drove to Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form the next government.

Lal Thanhawla, after submitting his resignation, said, “I have been there for 10 years... I don’t know what went wrong. Maybe, people wanted change.”

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