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ZPM pulls off landslide victory in Mizoram, CM Zoramthanga loses

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Aizawl: In a historic electoral triumph fuelled by a strong anti-incumbency wave, the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Mizoram’s youngest political party, pulled off a landslide victory clinching 27 seats in the vote count for the 40-strong state assembly on Monday.

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), which has governed the state for three consecutive terms and had secured 26 seats in the last assembly elections, along with an additional two from by-polls, has been reduced to 10 seats.

The Indian National Congress, grappling with electoral challenges in the Christian-majority state, managed only one victory. Veteran Congressman C Ngunlianchunga retained his Lawngtlai West seat, marking his success for the third consecutive term.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got two seats.

The ZPM, established only in 2017, tested success in its second appearance in the Mizoram assembly election scene, decimating the state’s traditionally strong political forces – MNF and Congress – and upsetting a large number of heavyweights including three-time Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his deputy Tawnluia.

Zoramthanga, 79, lost the Aizawl East-I seat to ZPM candidate and former lawmaker Lalthansanga by 2101 votes..

Tawnluia, aged 80, also suffered defeat in his Tuichang constituency, losing to ZPM candidate W Chhuanawma.

However, Congress stalwarts Zodintluanga and Nihar Kanti Chakma, both former ministers, faced defeat in their home turfs of Thorang and West Tuipui, respectively, after securing victories in four and five consecutive terms.

Mizoram Pradesh Congress chief Lalsawta also experienced defeat in the Aizawl West-III constituency, losing to ZPM candidate and incumbent legislator V L Zaithanzama.

Despite the challenges, Minister Robert Romawia Royte secured victory in the Hachhek constituency after switching from Aizawl East-II, where he was elected in 2018, to the rural seat.

Minister Lalchhandama Ralte successfully retained his Tuivawl constituency.

Notable MNF winners include R Rohmingliana from Thorang, Pravo Chakma from West Tuipui, and Shanti Jiban Chakma from Tuichawng.

ZPM’s chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma successfully retained his Serchhip seat, and the party’s success extended to renowned figures such as football promoter Lalnghinglova Hmar, also known as Tetea Hmar, who secured victory in Aizawl West-II by defeating incumbent Lalruatkima of the MNF.

Further adding to ZPM’s triumph, retired Indian footballer Jeje Lalpekhlua, running on the ZPM ticket in South Tuipui, emerged victorious over MNF stalwart Dr R Lalthangliana.

In Aizawl North-III, former journalist turned politician K Sapdanga secured victory, prevailing over ruling party MLA Lalmuanpuia.

The 2023 Mizoram elections created history as three women MLAs were elected for the first time in the state. ZPM candidates Baryl Vanneihsangi Tlau from Aizawl South-III, Lalrinpuii from Lunglei East, and MNF nominee Pravo Chakma from West Tuipui triumphed from unreserved seats.

Political analysts attribute this groundbreaking achievement to the significant wave created by ZPM, highlighting the rarity of women getting elected from unreserved seats.

The BJP also came up with an improved showing by picking up two seats, compared to the single lawmaker it had in the previous election.

This election marks a turning point in Mizoram’s political history, as it ended th saga of bipolar politics that has characterised the state since it attained statehood in 1987, where power had consistently changed hands between the Congress and MNF

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