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C Lalrosanga (left) and Zothantluanga
C Lalrosanga (left) and Zothantluanga|EastMojo image
MIZORAM

MNF sweeps Lok Sabha elections, Assembly by-polls in Mizoram

While the ruling party’s C Lalrosanga defeated independent candidate Lalnghinglova Hmar for the lone Parliamentary seat, Zothantluanga bagged the Aizawl West-I assembly constituency

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Retaining its wave, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) on Thursday swept both the Lok Sabha elections and the by-polls to Aizawl West-I assembly constituency held simultaneously during the first phase on April 11.

Mizoram has only one Lok Sabha seat, which is reserved for the scheduled tribe.

MNF candidate C Lalrosanga defeated his nearest opponent Lalnghinglova Hmar, an independent candidate backed by opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)-Congress combine, by a margin of 8,140 votes, according to the final result declared on Thursday night.

This is the first time MNF had won the Lok Sabha polls after 10 years of hiatus. The last MNF Parliamentarian was its treasurer Vanlalzawma. He won the seat in 2004.

The next two Parliamentary polls in 2009 and 2014 were won consecutively by CL Ruala of the Congress. Ruala did not contest this time due to old age.

In the assembly by-polls, the ruling MNF's Zothantluanga inflicted a humiliating defeat on ZPM-Congress combine’s Lalbuanga Sailo by 7,167 votes.

Six candidates had contested the lone Lok Sabha seat, while three candidates were in the fray for assembly by-polls.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was the main issue flagged by the ruling, Opposition and other candidates. While the ZPM-Congress alliance spoke of the defeat of the bill in Parliament, the MNF also said it would oppose any bid to re-introduce it.
Apart from the bill, the BJP’s Hindutva policy and infrastructure development were other agenda raised during the polls.

Lalrosanga attributed his success to God’s help and good performance of the MNF government. Speaking to EastMojo, he said people are much aware of the needs of the state for which he has been elected. He said that he is committed to his pre-poll promise of opposing the citizenship bill.

The retired Doordarshan director general also said he would give priority to improvement of road transport and tele-communication. “People elected me for a purpose and I am going to fulfill their aspirations. I will also work for the welfare of youth besides all-round development,” he said.

ZPM-Congress joint candidate Lalnghinglova Hmar thanked the Mizo people for their support. He alleged that his poor performance in the Chakma dominated areas, especially in Tuichawng assembly constituency, led to his defeat.

In Tuichawng, Hmar secured only 386 votes against C Lalrosanga’s 12,022 votes, while BJP candidate Nirupam Chakam secured 10,537 votes.

Congress spokesperson Lallianchhunga also alleged that ruling party support (factor) and apathy by Chakma community worked against their favour. “In Mizoram, if the assembly and Lok Sabha polls are held in close proximity, generally people have a tendency to support the ruling party in the state. Besides, lack of interest shown by the Chakma community was another factor for our defeat,” he said.

Chakma veteran politician Nirupam Chakma stood at third by securing 28,707 votes. Lalthlamuani, the lone and first ever woman MP candidate secured 1,975 votes. She expressed happiness for the fact that she was able to receive more than 1,900 votes due to the support of the people when she expected only 300 votes.