Performance Review of the government and Main Election Issues – Mizoram

Mizoram Assembly Elections-2018

Mizoram Assembly Elections-2018

Mizoram is ready to elect 40 legislators to the State Legislative Assembly on 28 November 2018, and all parties in contention are busy campaigning.

It is time to look at the main issues in these elections and also review the incumbent government’s performance.


  • 2018 Assembly Election Date: 28 November, 2018
  • Legislative Assembly Seats: 40
  • Total Electors (2018 Electoral List): 768,000 ; Female Electors: 393,000; Male Electors: 374,000
  • Current Seat break-up: INC 34; MNF 5; Mizoram’s People’s Conference

CM Lal Thanhawla of the Indian National Congress (INC) is the present Chief Minister and will be fighting the 2018 elections for the sixth term in office. INC holds 34 of the total 40 seats and has been in power since 2008. Since Mizoram became a state in 1987, INC has been in power for almost 20 of those years.

Lal Thanhawla is the tallest political leader in the state. His main opposition is the former CM Zoramthanga’s Mizo National Front (MNF) which holds 5 seats.

With elections around the corner, the INC is facing defections. The state Home Minister Lalzirliana quit to join MNF and was followed by party MLA and former Health Minister Lalrinliana.

Corruption charges are another major issue likely to go against the incumbent party.

BJP has been unsuccessfully fighting local elections since 1993. The problem for BJP is, Mizoram is a Christian state with few takers for BJP’s usual agenda.

BJP’s ally in Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma’s party, the NPP, is fighting the elections here through a local unit with the support of some local parties. The newly formed parties may eat into Congress’s vote share.

Main challenges: CM Lal Thanhawla’s government is facing graft charges, anti-incumbency, defections and the issue of resettlement of Bru Tribals in the state.


  • GSDP (FY 11-12): $1.51 billion ; FY 17-18: $2.43 billion
  • CAGR (FY11-12 to FY17-18): 17.61%
  • Per Capita GSDP (FY16-17): $1,750.29
  • Gross Revenue Expenditure (Budgeted FY18-19): $1.11 billion
  • Installed Power Generation Capacity (March 2018): 196.96 MW)
  • Wireless Telecom Subscribers (March 2018): 13,134,165
  • Internet Subscribers (Dec 2017): 5.19 million
  • Rice Production (FY17-18): 80,000 tonnes

Mizoram is strategically located to serve as a gateway to Southeast Asia and is blessed with the excellent monsoon. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has grown at 17.61% between FY11-12 and FY17-18. Mizoram grows 35 varieties of bamboos representing 25.26 million tonnes spread over 3,267 sq km offering potential for value-added exports.

The state is a major producer of raw silk, producing 81 tonnes by the end of 2017. Value addition for exports is another major investment opportunity. Horticulture offers great scope for investment as the state produces 12 percent of the total fruit production in the northeast.

The state offers great potential for aquaculture. Only 5,500 hectares of 24,000 hectares of water bodies is utilized for fisheries. The potential for value addition is tremendous. In FY16-17, the state produced 7,630 tonnes of fish.

The natural landscape of Mizoram has rivers, lakes, beautiful blue mountains, and green hills, all of which offer great potential for domestic and international tourism. The highly literate (91.30 % of the population) and English speaking population is an advantage for attracting investment.

Main challenges: Poor connectivity with the mainland, lack of rail and adequate road networks, and opening up of trade with Southeast Asia are all holding back the true potential Mizoram offers. INC is pressed for creating new jobs with limited financial resources.


With significant flowing water resources, Mizoram holds great potential for up to 4,500 MW of hydropower generation. The current installed capacity is a mere 196.96 MW (March-2018). Both the center and state government need to step up investment to exploit the full potential.

Lack of roads, bridges, and railway is hindering faster economic progress.

Main challenges: Lack of adequate investment from the center and other international institutions for infrastructure development. Opposition parties are without any clear solutions.


Mizoram has more female electors than male, and yet women have traditionally been denied a role in governance. There is only one female MLA (INC) in the present government, and no other party has shown any inclination or interest in putting up female candidates. It is a denial of equal opportunity to more than 50% of voters.

Bru Tribals resettlement has been a thorny issue and remains unresolved. Reang tribals, also known as Bru, had traditionally lived across the northeastern states, with most living in Mizoram till 1995, when they were forcefully evicted by local Mizos who claimed they were not an indigenous community. Over 32,000 Bru tribals are since living in Tripura as refugees and demanding compensation and recognition before returning. It is a sensitive political and social issue which is impacting both Tripura and Mizoram, and so, all parties in Mizoram are carefully treading the issue in this election year.

Main challenges: No party wants to address this sensitive issue overtly, and the next government will have to take it up.