Mizoram CM loses both seats as MNF crushes Cong
Aizawl: The MNF was on Tuesday all set to storm back to power in Mizoram after a decade handing down a humiliating defeat to the ruling Congress, which will lose its last northeast bastion.
With counting still underway, the Mizo National Front (MNF) had won 14 seats and established leads in nine other seats in the 40-member Assembly, while a majority of the Congress candidates were either in the second or third position.
Mizoram was the last Congress stronghold in the northeast, comprising eight states, including Sikkim.
The ruling Congress had won only four seats so far, leading in two seats and trailing in most of the constituencies which were won by the party in the last Assembly polls. The party won 34 seats in 2013.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in one constituency.
Mizoram Chief Minister and Congress candidate Lal Thanhawla lost from both his home turf Serchhip and Champhai South seat Tuesday, Election Commission sources said.
Lal Thanhawla was defeated in Serchhip by the Zoram People's Movement's (ZPM) chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma by a margin of 410 votes, they said.
He also lost to T J Lalnuntluanga, a political novice and Mizo National Front (MNF) nominee, by a margin of 1,049 votes in Champhai South constituency near the Myanmar border.
MNF supremo and its Chief Ministerial candidate Zoramthanga was elected to the Assembly for his fifth term from the Aizawl east seat defeating Independent candidate K. Sapdanga.
Buddha Dhan Chakma, a former minister in the Congress government, who just before the November 28 polls joined the BJP, was leading in Chakma tribals-dominated Tuichawng constituency over his MNF rival.
Five Independents won their seats and were leading in three constituencies.
Former IPS officer and security in-charge of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) chief Lalduhoma defeated outgoing Chief Minister Thanhawla in Serchhip seat by a margin of 410 votes.
The BJP much before the November 28 polls had undertaken intensive efforts to oust the ruling Congress in Mizoram after having formed governments on its own or in alliance in the other northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.
The MNF, a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), ruled Mizoram for 10 years -- 1998-2003 and 2003-2008. The terror outfit turned political party won five seats in the 2013 Assembly polls.
However, both the BJP and MNF fielded candidates separately in 40 and 39 seats, respectively for the November polls.