Aizawl: C. Lalrinmawii, an independent woman candidate, has stepped into the political arena by announcing her candidacy for the forthcoming Mizoram Legislative Assembly (MLA) elections, representing the Tuikum constituency.
Formerly a village council member, Lalrinmawii’s decision to enter politics was fueled by her deep concern for the enduring struggles faced by her constituents. She revealed her motivation, stating, “I spent sleepless nights seeing the condition of our people. The parties only care about members of their party units in the villages. If we continue like this, our people will never see progress, and it has really burdened me.”
As a village council member and a businesswoman, Lalrinmawii realized the limitations of her role in fostering development within her community. Following prayer and reflection, she resolved to contest the MLA elections independently, driven by a profound sense of responsibility towards her constituents.
Lalrinmawii’s decision to run as an independent candidate stems from her belief that established political parties in Mizoram prioritize their members over the needs of the people. She expressed her dismay, saying, “It hurts me to see that the parties in Mizoram are only working to uphold the members of their own party. We have had so many MLAs, yet our road conditions remain deplorable, with no link roads, forcing farmers to transport heavy harvests over long distances.” Her primary motivation, she emphasizes, is not personal ambition but a commitment to the people’s welfare.
When confronted with the challenges of being a woman candidate, Lalrinmawii confidently asserted, “I don’t see why a woman can do any less than a man. If we depend on God and devote our whole hearts to the task ahead, there is no reason we should be any less than a man.”
Lalrinmawii, as a woman candidate, advocates for unity among women, highlighting their potential to drive positive change when united. She firmly believes in women’s ability to contribute substantially and hopes to gain support from Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, the apex women’s NGO in Mizoram.
Her fellow contestants include the current cabinet minister, Er Lalrinawma, but when asked if she fears defeat, Lalrinmawii declared her determination to face him courageously “Lalrinawma will be my rival. We can see the present situation of the MNF party, so even though he is a minister from the ruling party, I am not afraid of him. I will stand boldly,” she said.
Despite lacking major sponsorship, she intends to conduct a cost-effective campaign, utilizing her available resources. She also hinted at receiving an invitation from the Zoram Peoples Movement party but remained committed to her independent candidacy.
Lalrinmawii’s manifesto addresses vital issues such as link road construction, access to safe drinking water, improved electricity supply, enhanced sports infrastructure, education, and support for talented individuals, particularly singers across the constituency. Additionally, she pledges to establish offices for NGOs, assist widows and disadvantaged individuals, and support those unable to afford medical bills.
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The upcoming Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) elections in Mizoram could feature seven women candidates from various parties and one independent contender. The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), one of the prominent political parties in Mizoram, had previously announced two women candidates for the upcoming elections. Baryl Vanneihsangi will contest from the Aizawl South III constituency, while Lalrinpuii will vie for the Lunglei East constituency.
In the 2018 elections, not a single woman was elected to the Mizoram Assembly with all 15 female candidates running for office experiencing defeat.
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