After facing a drubbing in four states, Congress on Monday got some good news in Mizoram where it powered to a two thirds majority in the assembly elections snapping up 27 of the 40 seats, while the opposition Mizo National Front secured four.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, all set for a fifth term, won from both Serchhip and Hrangturzo seats he had contested. In Serchhip, Thanhawla who was elected to the assembly for a record ninth time since 1978, won by a margin of 734 votes defeating his nearest MNF rival Lalramzauva, who got 4,985 votes in a four-cornered contest.
In Hrangturzo, the chief minister defeated his Mizoram People's Conference (MPC) rival Lalthansanga by 1,638 votes. Thanhawla received 5173 votes in a five-cornered contest.
Of the eleven ministers who contested, nine -- R. Lalzirliana (Home), J. H. Rothuama (Cooperation), P.C. Zoram Sangliana (Transport), H. Rohluna (Forests), Lalrinliana Sailo
(Health), Lalsawta (Education), Zodintluanga (Sports), P C Lalthanliana (Social Welfare), Veterinary Minister Nihar Kanti Chakma -- won. Tourism Minister S Hiato, however, lost to the MNF's K Beichhua in Saiha. Assembly Speaker R. Romawia won from the prestigious Aizawl North-I seat. Congress also bagged the Tuivawl, South Tuipui, Lunglei South, Palak, Champhai North, Lawngtlai West, Tuirial, Tawi and Tuichawng seats. The Congress had won 32 seats in 2008.
On the poll outcome, Lal Thanhawla said contrary to anti-incumbency playing a rucial role after completion of a five-year term, in Mizoram "pro-incumbency worked in favour of Congress".
"I am going to form the next government in the state," he said. The main opposition MNF lagged far behind bagging only four seats -- Saiha, Tuikum, Aizawl West-I and Aizawl West-II, one more than in 2008.
The party's Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Lalhming Liana was also defeated by K. Lalrinthanga of the Congress in Serlui. Barring the MNF, the two other constituents of the MPC and Maraland Democratic Front of the Mizoram Democratic Alliance, were yet to open their account.
A prominent loser was opposition Zoram Nationalist Party chief Lalduhawma, who was defeated both from Aizawl West-I and Kolasib. The party had two seats in the outgoing House.
A repoll was ordered in the Tialdawngilung polling station in Lawngtlai East constituency, Joint Chief Electoral Officer H Lalengmawia said.
Lalengmawia told PTI that repoll would be held on December 11 and counting on December 12. He said the repoll was necessitated as counting could not be held because of a defective EVM.