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MNF reaches halfway mark in Mizoram

G Vinayak in Guwahati | December 02, 2003 09:56 IST
Last Updated: December 02, 2003 17:59 IST

The ruling Mizo National Front has nearly managed to retain power in the 40-member Mizoram assembly by winning 20 of the 37 seats for which results have been declared so far.

It needs just one more seat to secure a simple majority and form government for the third time.

The party had 21 members in the previous assembly.

The Congress has doubled its tally to 12.

The biggest loser has been the Mizoram People's Conference, which had 12 members in the previous assembly. It has won just two seats till now.

The BJP, which was hoping to open its account in this Christian-dominated state, has once again failed to win a single seat.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga, a former rebel leader who came overground in 1986 after 20 years in the jungle, won both the seats that he contested. At Champai, his traditional constituency, he humbled his predecessor and Pradesh Congress chief Lalthanhawla. But Lalthanhawla once again won from Serchhip. He had won four consecutive elections from Serchhip and lost only once, in 1998.

Other prominent winners include Public Health Engineering Minister Tawnluia, Agriculture Minister Aichhinga and Revenue Minister Lalrinchha, who won from Lokicherra, Aizawl West-I and Aizawl West-II respectively.

Zoram National Party president and former Indian Police Service officer Lalduhawma won from Ratu. He also contested from Aizawl South-II, but lost.

Prominent losers include Speaker R Lalawia from Khawha, Health Minister F Malsawma from Kawnpui, Deputy Speaker Lalthan Kunga from Ratu, vice-chairman, State Planning Board, Sanghmingthanga H Pautu from Khawzawl and former minister Lalchungnunga Sailo from Aizawl West-I.

The biggest surprise of this election has been the rout of the MPC-ZNP combine. During the run-up to the polls the combine was projecting itself as an ultra-nationalist force, out to protect the erosion of values in the Mizo society.

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