Dec 9, 2008

India - Congress scripts history in Mizoram

Sushanta Talukdar

Wins 32 of the total 40 seats

Chief Minister Zoramthanga loses in both seats

“People of Mizoram wanted an end to MNF’s corrupt rule”

Guwahati: The Congress wrested power in Mizoram from the Mizo National Front (MNF), securing four-fifths majority in the Assembly polls. The party won 32 of the total 40 seats, 11 more than the magic number 21.

The results led to a new electoral history as no single party had secured four-fifths majority since Mizoram attained statehood in 1987.

The ruling MNF was routed. The party that ruled the State for last two consecutive terms won only three seats. Its ally Maraland Democratic Front (MDF) won only one seat. The third player United Democratic Alliance (UDA) won four seats. Of the constituents of the UDA, the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) won two seats each. The third constituent of the UDA, Zoram Kuthnathawktu Pawl, did not win any.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga lost both Champhai North and Champhai South, while PCC president and twice Chief Minister Lalthanhawla won both Serchhip and South Tuipui he contested.

In the 2003 Assembly polls, the Congress won 12 seats and the MNF secured 21 seats. Mr. Zoramthanga had won both Kolasib and Champhai. In 1998, the MNF-MPC combine captured 32 seats, while the Congress won only six seats.

“People’s victory”

Describing the party’s landslide as “people’s victory,” Mr. Lalthanhawla told The Hindu that the State people wanted an end to “corrupt rule of the MNF” and therefore voted the Congress back to power. He said the priorities of the new government would be to “rebuild the economy of Mizoram’ and ensure proper utilisation of government funds to alleviate the condition of the poor.

“During the last 10 years of MNF rule, the poor became poorer and there was no development work as funds provided for development were swindled,” Mr. Lalthanhawla said. The new CLP would meet in a day or two to elect the leader who would be sworn in the Chief Minister after the date is finalised in consultation with AICC in-charge Oscar Fernandes.

However, State leaders said the election of Mr. Lalthanhawla as the CLP leader was only a formality now.

Anti-incumbency: MNF

Accepting the poll verdict, MNF general secretary and the party’s campaign director K. Aithanga attributed the defeat to a “strong anti-incumbency wave.”

“In Mizoram the people always want a change in government after one party rule the State for 10 years, irrespective of whether it performed well or badly. Since we stayed in power for 10 long years, the anti-incumbency factor crept in,” he said. The party would do an introspection of its functioning after an analysis of the results.

No comments: