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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Lalduhoma – former police officer looks set to become Mizoram CM


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Aizawl: After an illustrious political career spanning 39 years, 74-year-old Lalduhoma looks set to realise a lifelong dream. The coveted position of chief minister, a seat he has ardently sought for decades, now seems to beckon as his party, the Zoram People’s Movement, celebrates a resounding victory in the elections for the 40-seat Mizoram assembly.

Lalduhoma, who joined politics after giving up his job as an IPS officer to become Mizoram Pradesh Congress president in 1984, got elected as an MLA for the first time only in 2003 from the erstwhile Ratu constituency.

He and Andrew Lalherliana won the election to enable his party ZNP, which he formed as a Mizo National Front (Nationalist) as a splinter group of Mizo National Front in 1997, to participate in the state assembly for the first time after the 2003 elections.

In the 2008 polls, the ZNP again won two Assembly seats with Lalduhoma getting elected from Aizawl West-I constituency and another ZNP candidate K Liantlinga from Aizawl South-1.

Lalduhoma’s political journey is long, winding and sometimes rough. After he joined the Congress, Lalduhoma was elected uncontested to the Lok Sabha in 1984.

When internal rift threw him out of the Congress, he floated a new political outfit Mizo National Union in the mid-80s, which later merged with the Brig T Sailo-led People’s Conference (PC) to form Democratic Party (DP).

As the DP lost elections, Lalduhoma in the mid 1990s tried his luck in the Mizo National Front, which was badly in need of an able leader following the death of the founder president Laldenga in 1990.

He soon called the shots and became a presidential candidate, which, however, caused a split in the party due to the nomination of then vice-president Zoramthanga from the floor by hardcore Laldenga brigade.

He left MNF to form MNF (Nationalist) in the late 1990s which was later rechristened Zoram Nationalist Party which he manages to keep alive till date.

In 2017, his ZNP merged with other smaller political outfits to form Zoram People’s Movement, which fought the next year’s assembly polls and won eight seats.

Over the last five years, ZPM emerged as a formidable third force, culminating in its success in the just concluded election. Now, it could be a matter of days before the former police officer takes the oath of office and secrecy for occupying the hot seat he has been eyeing for years.

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