MNF bounces back to power in Mizoram, Congress loses last bastion in Northeast

MNF bounces back to power in Mizoram, Congress loses last bastion in Northeast

NEW DELHI: The Mizo National Front (MNF) on Tuesday scripted a spectacular victory in Mizoram, uprooting the Congress in its last bastion in the Northeast to return to power after 10 years.nnThe MNF won 26 seats in the 40-member Assembly, a gain of 21 seats since 2013. The Congress managed to bag only five seats compared to 34 seats it won in the 2013 Assembly elections.nnNo party in the State has so far been able to form government thrice in a row since 1987 when Mizoram became a full-fledged State.nnOutgoing Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla suffered defeats from both the seats he contested, including his home turf Serchip. He also lost from Champai South constituency.nnThe MNF, previously an underground outfit, had signed the Mizo Accord in 1986 with the Central government renouncing secession and violence and its leader Laldenga became the Chief Minister.nnThe MNF led by Zoramthanga, a former underground, had won the Assembly elections in 1998 and 2003.nnIt is now a constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), formed by the BJP.nnThe MNF bagged 37.6 % votes as against 30.2 % secured by the Congress.nnThe BJP opened its account in the Christian-dominated State as the party candidate and former Minister Buddha Dhan Chakma won from the Chakma-dominated Tuichawng seat in south Mizoram?s Lawngtlai district.nnChakma had resigned from the Congress.nnThe BJP, which fielded 39 candidates, secured 8% votes.nnLal Thanhawla met Governor K. Rajasekharan and submitted his resignation, official sources said.nnThe MNF at a meeting of its newly-elected legislators unanimously elected Mr. Zoramthanga as the leader of the MNF legislature party.nnThe Zoram People?s Movement (ZPM), a conglomerate of two political parties ? the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and Mizoram People?s Conference (MPC) captured eight seats.nnThe ZPM?s performance was commendable as they bagged 22.9 % votes.nnKey candidatesnFormer Mizoram Assembly speaker Hiphei who resigned from the Congress and contested as a BJP nominee lost from Palak constituency.nnFormer Mizoram Home Minister R. Lalzirliana who defected from the Congress to the MNF won from Tawi seat.nnAnother former Congress leader and Health Minister Lalrinliana Sailo won Chalfith seat as a MNF candidate.nnF. Lalnunmawia of the MNF defeated agriculture minister K.S. Thanga by a margin of 2,037 votes in Aizawl South-III seat.nnAnother former Assembly speaker, Lalchamliana of the MNF, defeated the Cooperation Minister Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu in Hrangturzo seat, while Lalrinawma of the MNF retained the Tuikum seat by defeating SangzelaTlau of the Lalruatkima of the MNF also retained their seats, Siaha and Aizawl West-II, respectively.

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