Zoram People’s Movement hurt Congress more than Mizo National Front in Mizoram

ZPM wins eight seats, comes second in nine constituencies

December 13, 2018 10:36 pm | Updated 10:36 pm IST - AIZAWL

Three-cornered contest:  MNF leader Zoramthanga, right, with outgoing CM Lal Thanhawla.

Three-cornered contest: MNF leader Zoramthanga, right, with outgoing CM Lal Thanhawla.

The pattern of voting in the November 28 Assembly elections in Mizoram has revealed that the Congress had indeed taken the Zoram People’s Movement lightly.

Before tendering his resignation to Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan on Tuesday, outgoing Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla attributed his party’s electoral loss more to the ZPM cutting into the Congress vote base than the popularity of the Mizo National Front (MNF).

The Congress won five seats — its worst performance ever — in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly while the MNF registered its best show with 26 seats. The ZPM won eight seats.

Political analysts said the ZPM could have done better had it been more organised and prepared.

Unregistered party

The unregistered party, whose candidates contested as independents, was formed after seven regional entities got together three months before the election.

Apart from winning five of the 11 Assembly seats straddling Aizawl, the ZPM ended up second in two and a close third behind Congress in three more. Overall, the ZPM was second in nine constituencies and third in five more.

“In most of the seats the Congress lost, the ZPM did exceedingly well. Perhaps, we missed a trick,” Congress spokesperson Lal Lianchhunga said.

ZPM president Lalduhoma, who won from two seats, said the people of Mizoram would regret voting the MNF in after a year. He also said the MNF won because people were tired of the Congress and were desperate for an alternative.

“We already know the capacity of [MNF president] Zoramthanga and nothing has changed. He has just grown older,” Mr. Lalduhoma said at a party meeting on Wednesday evening to celebrate the party’s show.

The ZPM chief also accused the MNF of buying votes after receiving funds from the North East Democratic Alliance, which is an anti-Congress front the Bharatiya Janata Party had floated in May 2016.

The MNF is a member of this front.

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