Sunday, March 3, 2024

Mizoram bucks the trend

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The election results in Mizoram were along expected lines. Anti-incumbency was imminent and the Mizo National Front (MNF) was tried and tested and found wanting. The Zoram Peoples’ Movement (ZPM) a conglomerate of regional forces was a movement for a new thinking which the progressive new generation of Mizos desirous of change have voted for. The ZPM have accused outgoing Chief Minister Zoramthanga of corruption and nepotism. Of course Mizoram benefits from having an educated and near literate population at 91.93 % and a largely informed electorate. The only district that has the lowest literacy rate is Lawngtlai with just 65.88 %. If there is one thing that marks out the present Mizoram and for which the capital city of Aizawl is the indicator then it is the entrepreneurship spirit. Several young women and men who have studied or been trained outside the state are now back nursing their own little start-ups.
This is also for the first time that Mizoram has elected 3 women MLAs – 2 of them from the ZPM and one from the MNF. The Congress has unexpectedly done very poorly with only one candidate winning while the BJP succeeded in getting 2 MLAs which is one more seat since the last election in 2018. The Mizo National Front (MNF) which has been ruling the State for two terms is now reduced to 10 MLAs. Political observers from Mizoram say that they are rather chary that the ZPM a new party with several new and young faces and with an absolute majority would not have to contend with a strong Opposition. Their views are that a strong Opposition is better for the people of Mizoram and to ensure better checks and balances.
Leader of the ZPM, Mr Lalduhoma, a former IPS officer who first cut his teeth in Goa and later became the security in charge of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Delhi is now all set to be the new Chief Minister of Mizoram. In 1984 he was first elected to the Lok Sabha but became the first MP to be disqualified under the anti-defection law. Again in 2020 Lalduhoma faced disqualification as MLA but returned after winning the Serchhip seat. Overall, therefore Lalduhoma has quite a chequered political career. In an interview with a section of media, Lalduhoma said the ZPM was formed in 2018 to bring an alternative for the people of Mizoram. He said that people have had enough of the MNF and the Congress and were ready for a change and ZPM would bring that much needed change in government and administration. In his interviews post his win, Lalduhoma said his priority would be to address corruption and bring in financial reforms. He also said that the farmers would receive due attention from his government.

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