Lal Thanhawla, the three-time chief minister of Mizoram who was the Congress’ candidate for the post this time too, has lost both seats that he contested in the recently-held Assembly elections. He had held the post since 2008.
Thanhawla lost Champhai South by 1,049 votes. TJ Lalnuntluanga, the Mizo National Front candidate, won 5,212 votes, while Thanhawla got 4,163. In Serchhip constituency, the winning independent candidate Lalduhoma won 5,481 votes, while Thanhawla got 5,071. Thanhawla had represented Serchhip in the state Assembly for seven terms since 1984, losing only in 1998.
Elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly had taken place on November 28, the counting for which took place on Tuesday. Mizoram is the only state in the North East ruled by the Congress after the Bharatiya Janata Party took control of all others, either on its own or through coalitions, in recent years. However, the party looks set to lose to the Mizo National Front this time.
Ahead of the elections, Thanhawla had insisted that his party would comfortably form the government a record third time, even as the Congress faced 10 years of anti-incumbency and allegations of corruption and nepotism.
Three years ago, Scroll.in had reported that Thanhawla’s brother Lal Thanzara had, between 2009 and 2012, held shares in a company getting road contracts from the state government. This created a conflict of interest where the state government was giving contracts to a company part-owned by the chief minister’s brother. The allegation led to Thanzara’s resignation as minister of state, though he claimed he was innocent.