Lal Thanhawla Biography

Lal Thanhawla became the Chief Minister of the northeastern state of Mizoram on December11, 2008.

He belongs to the Indian National Congress party and contested the 2008 Assembly elections from two constituencies-Serchchip and South Tuipui. He was elected from both.

He was born on May 19, 1942 in Durtlang, Aizawl. His father was (late) Shri H P Sailo and his mother is Smt Lalsawmliani Chawngthu. Mr Thanhawla attended the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta but finished his graduation from Aijal College of Guwahati University in 1964. He holds a BA degree. Before joining politics he worked first as a recorder in the office of Inspector of Schools in the district council and then briefly as an Assistant in the Assam Co-operative Apex Bank.

He is interested in sports and is the founder president of the Mizoram Hockey Association and the Mizoram Football Association. He is also the Vice president (Ex-officio) of the Indian Olympic Association and the founder President of the Mizoram Olympic Association.

He is married to Smt Lal Rilani. They have three children.

Political Career
In 1966 he joined the Mizo National Front and was made the Secretary of the party. He was jailed following the secessionist uprising in the sixties. In 1967 he joined the Indian National Congress and within five years, in 1973, he was elected the Congress party President for the State. The Union territory of Mizoram was carved out of Assam in 1972.

He was elected as a legislator in the Union Territory elections in 1978 and 1979.

In 1984, the congress party swept the Union territory elections and he was made the Chief Minister of the Union territory. He served as Chief Minister for two years.

The peace accord was signed between the Mizo National front led by Pu Laldenga and the Government of India led by Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. In February 1987 Mizoram became the 23rd state of India when full statehood was conferred on it. Lal Thanhawla gave up the Chief Ministership and Pu Laldenga became the interim and the first Chief Minister of the State. The Laldenga government, however, did not survive long.

In 1987 Assembly elections were held after the short President’s Rule, and Lal Thanhawla was elected MLA and then chosen as the Chief Minister. The Congress again came to power after elections in 1989 and 1993; both the times Lal Thanhawla served as chief Minister.

He lost the Assembly election in 1998, but was reelected in 2003. In 2008, the Indian National Congress won the Assembly election with 32 out of 40 seats in the Legislative Assembly and Lal Thanhawla became the Chief Minister.