AIZAWL, Oct 11 - The ruling Congress in Mizoram today made it official that its octogenarian Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla was not retiring and would lead the party in the ensuing poll battle.
As per the list of candidates for the November 28 Assembly polls released today, Lal Thanhawla (80) will contest from two seats � his home constituency, Serchhip, and Champhai South. Champhai South sitting MLA JH Rothuama (79) will not contest this time.
Lal Thanhawla was elected to the Assembly (when Mizoram was still a Union Territory) for the first time from Champhai constituency in 1978. He was re-elected from the same seat in 1979. This was before the constituency was demarcated into Champhai South and Champhai North. In 1984, he got elected from Serchhip, which went on to become his traditional bastion. He lost from the seat only once in the 1998 elections.
In the first phase, the Congress today announced its nominees for 36 seats, leaving out four constituencies which include West Tuipui, Tuichawng, Siaha and Palak. Congress sources said candidates for these seats would be announced later.
The 36 Congress candidates nominated today include six new faces including LT Hrangchal, retired IPS officer who was recently inducted into the party, James Thanghmingmawia, Congress media department chairman, and NSUI Mizoram unit president Lalhmachhuana.
Besides, former Home Minister R Lalzirliana and former Congress MLA Lalrinliana, who recently left the party and joined the Opposition Mizo National Front, eight other Congress MLAs � JH Rothuama, R Romawia, Zoram Sangliana, Lalrinmawia Ralte, R Lalrinawma, Hmingdailova Khiangte, K Lalrinthanga and Dr BD Chakma � do not feature in the list of Congress candidates announced today.
Lal Thanhawla�s younger brother and minister Lal Thanzara will contest from Aizawl North-III, Finance Minister Lalsawta from Aizawl East-I, and Sports Minister Zodintluanga will contest from his home constituency, Thorang. Another Congress heavyweight and former Finance Minister H Liansailova will seek election from Aizawl North-II which he had lost in the 2013 elections.