The election results in Mizoram will come as a major relief for the beleaguered Congress that has been blanked so far in the 4 other states where elections were held in November and December 2013. Thanks to the massive margin, Congress has been comfortably able to perform better than the Mizo National Front (MNF), which is its closest rival. This win has also enabled Lal Thanhawla, the incumbent chief minister, to come back for a second straight term as a chief minister. This win will also mark the 9th occasion that this 71 year old politician has been elected to the state assembly.
Incidentally, this time the CM contested from two constituencies in central Mizoram – Hrangturzo and Serchhip. According to the CM, this win has been achieved owing to factors such as absence of corruption and good administration. He has iterated that the state government carried out a number of flagship programs intended to benefit the weaker sections of the population. In spite of what has been happening in the rest of the country, Congress has been able to make Mizoram a virtual fortress and this is the 5th occasion that the party has won over here. In fact, the CM pointed out that as opposed to the anti-incumbency wave in the other states where elections were held in 2013, in Mizoram it was the pro-incumbency feeling that carried the day for Congress.
Mizoram is the only state in India that has more women voters than men. In fact in this year’s election there were a total of 690,860 voters and women outnumbered men by 9806. At Serchhip, Thanhawla faced off against C Lalramzauva from MNF and won by 734 votes and at Hrangturzo he beat Lalthansanga from MPC by 1628 votes. As opposed to 2008, Congress performed well in northern and southern parts of the state. Other leaders of Congress have also done well in Mizoram.
Hmingdailova Khlangte, who was contesting from Tuirial, won by 239 votes and RN Pianmawla won by 222 votes in Tuivawl. TT Zothsanga has been successful at Champhal north and H Rohluna has won at Lengteng. PC Lalthanliana was able to win in Lunglei north constituency by 870 votes and S Laldingliana won at Lunglei South as well with 450 votes. In Serlui, K Lalrinthanga won against Lalhming Liana, who is a member of Rajya Sabha from the MNF.
Hiphei, also from Congress, won at Palakby by a considerable margin of 1823 votes. At Aizawl East, Lalsawta from Congress was able to win against Sailothanga Sailo of MNF by 177 votes. Apart from these, the party was successful at South Tuipui, Tawi, Lawngtlai West, Tuichawng.
However, it would be a mistake to assume that Congress basically conquered everything it saw. Dr. K Beichhua, one of the few successful candidates for the MNF, has won at Saiha by 222 votes. ER Lalrinawma from the same party has won at Tuikum by 14 votes which, in spite of being a rather narrow margin, is an important victory nonetheless. The MNF was also successful at Aizawl West-I and Aizawl West-II.
In 2008, Congress had won in 32 seats and this time around they went one better and the result was the same for MNF as well. The condition of the other parties is evident from the fact that Maraland Democratic Front and MPC did not win a single seat. The Zoram Nationalist Party had 2 seats in 2008 but this time they came a cropper as the party chief, Lalduhawma, was defeated in Kolasib as well as Aizawl West-I.
In 2013, Mizoram has seen an 81% turnout with regards to the number of voters. Congress fielded candidates for all the 40 seats and the statistics for the rest can be enumerated as below:
- Mizoram Democratic Alliance – 40
- Mizo National Front – 31
- Mizoram People’s Conference – 8
- Maraland Democratic Front – 1
- Zoram Nationalist Party – 39
- BJP – 17
- NCP – 2
- Jai Maha Bharat Party – 1
- Independent candidates – 4
Following are the state cabinet ministers who were successful at the elections and their respective departments:
- R Lalzirliana – Home
- Lalrinliana Sailo – Health
- JH Rothuama – Cooperation
- Zodintluanga – Sports
- PC Zoram Sangliana – Transportation
- PC Lalthanliana – Social Welfare
- H Rohluna – Forests
- Nihar Kanti Chakma – Veterinary
A couple of things that the Congress administration could take note of in this context may be mentioned as below:
- How did Congress perform so well in Mizoram when it did not do so well in the other states? May be the Mizoram administration is following policies and rules that are being liked by the common people. These need to be replicated at the other centers as well.
Congress has a good record in the northeast. So the leaders from that part could be incorporated to a greater extent in the national level functioning. Their thought processes need to be acknowledged and honored by the top brass since, as is evident from the recent results, their thoughts are not working for the party.