Lal Thanhawla, who steered Congress to a landslide victory in Mizoram, was sworn-in as chief minister by Governor Vakkom Purushothaman on Saturday. He was sworn-in and administered oath of office along with his 11-member council of ministers at the Raj Bhavan here. This is Lal Thanhawla's second consecutive term and the fifth overall term as chief minister.
Of the 11 ministers sworn-in seven are of cabinet rank and the rest are ministers of state. Two cabinet ministers R Romawia and John Rotluangliana are new faces. They served as speaker and deputy speaker respectively in the previous ministry. The other cabinet ministers are R Lalzirliana, Lalsawta, H Rohluna, Zodintluanga and P C Lalthanliana.
The ministers of state are Lalrinmawia Ralte, C Ngunlianchunga, Lal Thanzara and B D Chakma are ministers of state. Lalthanliana was a minister of state in the previous ministry, while Lal Thanzara, who is the brother of the chief minister, was a parliamentary secretary as was Lalrinmawia Ralte.
The other two ministers of state are fresh faces in the house. Mizoram bucked the trend in the last round of assembly elections in five states with Congress retaining power by winning 34 of the 40 seats in the house, polls for which were held on November 25.
Thanhawla first became the chief minister in 1984 when the party swept the polls defeating the then ruling People's Conference Party led by Brig Thenphunga Sailo. In the later part of 1986, he vacated the chair to enable erstwhile underground Mizo National Front leader Laldenga to be installed as chief minister in the MNF-Congress coalition interim government.
Thanhawla returned to power for a second time in 1989 when the Congress and MNF (Democrats) formed the government. In 1993, he became chief minister for the third time when the Congress and Mizoram Janata Dal formed the government. The Congress was defeated by the MNF in 1998 and in 2003. Thanhawla became chief minister for the fourth time in 2008.