In 2008, Mizoram’s regional parties suffered a drubbing as the Congress swept the polls by winning 32 seats ending the two-decade long rule of the Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front (MNF). The MNF was decimated to just three seats while the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) won two, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) won two and the Maraland Democratic Front (MDF) won one taking the combined strength of regional parties to just eight in a house of 40.

In this election, the three regional parties – the MNF, MPC and the MDF — have formed a pre-poll coalition, the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA), and have fielded common candidates and have adopted a common manifesto to defeat the ruling Congress and install a regional-party government. The MNF is contesting in 31 seats, MPC in eight and the MDF one.

The MDA’s poll strategists hope that as the combined vote share of the MNF, MPC and the MDF was more than the vote share of the Congress party, the alliance would leap back to power. The Congress vote share in 2008 was 38.89 per cent. The MNF vote share was 30.65 per cent, MPC, 10.38 per cent, and the MDF bagged 0.84 per cent.

The ZNP which is going alone this time and has fielded candidates in 38 seats had a vote share of 10.22 per cent. The MDA election manifesto pledges reunification of Mizo-inhabited areas into one administrative unit with higher political status as per the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People 2007.