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Litmus test for Lal Thanhawla on home turf

By Correspondent

AIZAWL, Oct 31 - Five-time Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla faces a six-cornered fight in the State Assembly election in his home constituency, Serchhip.

The latest in the list of Lal Thanhawla�s rivals is Kapliana Pachuau, editor of Serchhip-based daily newspaper, Serchhip Times, who has confirmed his candidature on a National People�s Party ticket.

Pachuau said that he had been invited by NPP a number of times and finally, he agreed to contest on an NPP ticket in his home town.

�NPP is a new party. However, I have high chances because there is a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling Congress. I have a home advantage too,� Pachuau, who is a resident of Serchhip, said.

With five other challengers in the fray, it will be a litmus test for the Chief Minister, who is now 82.

Lal Thanhawla got elected for the first time from Serchhip in 1984 following which he became the Chief Minister. He lost the seat only once in 1998 when he was defeated by Mizo National Front(MNF)-Mizoram People�s Conference alliance candidate K Thangzualla, a newcomer. He won it back in 2003 and has been elected for three consecutive terms subsequently.

Among the candidates in the constituency is senior lawyer Ramzauva, who is a regular opponent of Lal Thanhawla. Ramzauva has been defeated by Lal Thanhawla in this constituency in three elections. This time, he is the main Opposition MNF�s candidate against Lal Thanhawla.

Ramzauva�s younger brother, Vanlalhriata Chhangte, a mining engineer under the Central Government, filed a complaint against Lal Thanhawla�s false affidavit in the last elections, which is pending in the Serchhip district court. This case against Lal Thanhawla may add to the anti-incumbency factor. Ramzauva, too, is a native of Serchhip.

The three remaining contenders are party presidents. Among them, former IPS officer and former Lok Sabha member Lalduhoma is the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Zoram People�s Movement, a conglomeration of his own party Zoram Nationalist Party, Mizoram People�s Conference, newly-floated Zoram Exodus Movement and other new smaller outfits. He will also contest from Aizawl West-I.

Vanlalruata, president of corruption watchdog-turned-political party PRISM, will contest from Serchhip.

Newly-floated Zoram Thar party is also fielding its president Rev Zaichhawna Hlawndo against Lal Thanhawla in the Serchhip constituency.

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Litmus test for Lal Thanhawla on home turf

AIZAWL, Oct 31 - Five-time Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla faces a six-cornered fight in the State Assembly election in his home constituency, Serchhip.

The latest in the list of Lal Thanhawla�s rivals is Kapliana Pachuau, editor of Serchhip-based daily newspaper, Serchhip Times, who has confirmed his candidature on a National People�s Party ticket.

Pachuau said that he had been invited by NPP a number of times and finally, he agreed to contest on an NPP ticket in his home town.

�NPP is a new party. However, I have high chances because there is a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling Congress. I have a home advantage too,� Pachuau, who is a resident of Serchhip, said.

With five other challengers in the fray, it will be a litmus test for the Chief Minister, who is now 82.

Lal Thanhawla got elected for the first time from Serchhip in 1984 following which he became the Chief Minister. He lost the seat only once in 1998 when he was defeated by Mizo National Front(MNF)-Mizoram People�s Conference alliance candidate K Thangzualla, a newcomer. He won it back in 2003 and has been elected for three consecutive terms subsequently.

Among the candidates in the constituency is senior lawyer Ramzauva, who is a regular opponent of Lal Thanhawla. Ramzauva has been defeated by Lal Thanhawla in this constituency in three elections. This time, he is the main Opposition MNF�s candidate against Lal Thanhawla.

Ramzauva�s younger brother, Vanlalhriata Chhangte, a mining engineer under the Central Government, filed a complaint against Lal Thanhawla�s false affidavit in the last elections, which is pending in the Serchhip district court. This case against Lal Thanhawla may add to the anti-incumbency factor. Ramzauva, too, is a native of Serchhip.

The three remaining contenders are party presidents. Among them, former IPS officer and former Lok Sabha member Lalduhoma is the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Zoram People�s Movement, a conglomeration of his own party Zoram Nationalist Party, Mizoram People�s Conference, newly-floated Zoram Exodus Movement and other new smaller outfits. He will also contest from Aizawl West-I.

Vanlalruata, president of corruption watchdog-turned-political party PRISM, will contest from Serchhip.

Newly-floated Zoram Thar party is also fielding its president Rev Zaichhawna Hlawndo against Lal Thanhawla in the Serchhip constituency.

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