Flags of Mizo National Front being heaved during election campaigns in Mizoram Credit: Mukut Medhi

Aizawl: The Mizo National Front (MNF) outshined the Congress by clinching 26 of the 40 seats in the state assembly after the election results declared on Tuesday. The regional party shattered the tall claims of outgoing CM Lal Thanhawla who jumped into the poll fray this year by claiming to break the jinx by forming government in the state for the third consecutive term.

Lal Thanhawla did not just lose the government, he also failed to retain his constituencies Serchhip and Champhai South.

Meanwhile, for MNF president Zoramthanga, who is likely to be sworn in as the chief minister by Saturday, there lies a mammoth task ahead of him to stick to his promises made to the people of Mizoram before the elections.

Here are ten reasons that led to the landslide victory of MNF in Mizoram:

File photo of MNF president Zoramthanga

Battle against bottle: Soon after being declared a winner, MNF president Zoramthanga said that a total ban on liquor is one of the top priorities of the party. As a Christian and church-influenced state, going easy on alcohol is being seen as a major reason why the Congress was voted out of power this year.

Empty promises? Lal Thanhawla’s promises to farmers under the New Land Use Policy or to to individuals to start small businesses or small-scale units under the New Economic Development Policy did not apparently pay off in favour of the Congress.

Welfare of CADC: In its election manifesto, the MNF had promised to look after the welfare of the members of the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC), especially by constituting an Administrative Reforms Commission. The party’s commitment to “eradicate corruption, end nepotism and favouratism at all level in administration of the council” also found many takers among the community.

Socio-Economic Development Policy package: Keeping Socio-Economic Development Policy as one of its top priorities paid off for the Zoramthanga-led party. The SEDP package includes compensations for workers who meet with accidents during work, water tanks, water ways and other needs to be provided to farmers, better health care scheme for the poor, among others.

Steps to curb illegal immigration: The MNF has been vocal about the problem of illegal immigration faced by the state. Introduction of village-level citizens’ register is one of the prime agendas of the party. The party has also vowed to take steps against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

Anti-incumbency: While the Congress increased its tally from 32 in 2008 to 34 in 2013, none of the parties has ever ruled Mizoram for more than two consecutive terms. The cycle took another spin this year when the election results brought the MNF back to power. From partial lifting of the liquor ban to failure in delivering under the NLUP, the Congress party’s inefficiencies made it easier for the people of Mizoram to pass their judgement.

Lack of infrastructure development: Poor infrastructural development like the condition of the roads was a tell-tale sign of the Congress government’s lack of concern for the betterment of the masses.

Decentralisation of power: Decentralisation of power and wider participation of the people in the government have been one of the top priorities of the MNF. On multiple occasions, the MNF had said that the party would combat corruption by establishing a Lokayukta and ensure good governance by ensuring accountability and transparency.

Free blood for patients: At a time when health-related issues like the higher rate in cases of cancer or people with HIV are plaguing Mizoram, a decision to offer blood free of cost at the blood banks found resonance among the poorer section of society.

Move to curb unemployment: Making Mizoram self-sufficient in the production of food grains and creating employment opportunities for youths and cultural rejuvenation have been some of the top agendas of the party this election year. This move was also a winner.

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