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MNF storms back to power in Mizoram

By Correspondent

AIZAWL, Dec 11 - Riding on a strong anti-incumbency wave, the Mizo National Front (MNF) today returned to power in Mizoram after ten years of hibernation. As the MNF juggernaut rolled through the state, most of the ruling Congress MLAs, including heavy weights, fell like proverbial nine pins.

Congress supremo and five-time chief minister Lal Thanhawla lost from two seats � Champhai South and his traditional constituency Serchhip.

MNF bagged 26 of the total 40 seats. The Congress party that enjoyed comfortable majority with 34 seats has been reduced to five seats. Zoram People�s Movement (ZPM) an emerging regional force of seven smaller parties managed to win eight seats with its chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma elected from two seats � Serchhip and Aizawl West-I. The former Lok Sabha member Lalduhoma defeated Lal Thanhawla in the latter�s home turf Serchhip.

MNF chief Zoramthanga won Aizawl East-I.

While 12 of the MNF MLAs-elect are first-timers, five of them are re-elected.

Of the seven elect ZPM candidates, only two Lalduhoma and Vanlalhlana are former legislators. The remaining five are new faces.

For the first time in Mizoram elections, the BJP that has fought elections in the Christian dominated state since 1993 and failed to win a single seat, opened account with one seat. Its candidate Dr B D Chakma, former Congress minister who defected to BJP just before elections, won Tuichawng seat.

MNF president Zoramthanga attributed his party�s landslide victory to the maladministration of Congress.

�This is a vote against the unprecedented malpractices of Congress government. They crippled Mizoram in the past ten years by siphoning off all the development funds. The people of Mizoram have given their verdict loud and clear. God has given us the opportunity to serve the people of Mizoram and we will do that� Zoramthanga said.

The next Mizoram chief minister added his priority would be to rescue the poor with his party�s coveted New Economic Development Policy.

Election of Zoramthanga is a mere formality as the two time chief minister led the MNF for an unprecedented and historic victory. In the process, MNF also decimated other smaller regional parties.

Zoramthanga said they would soon meet the Governor to stake claim.

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