In an assembly bypoll scheduled Friday in eastern Mizoram, the state’s Youth Congress president Lalawmpuii Chawngthu, 35, is fighting to become the first woman MLA since 1987 in a state where female voters consistently outnumber the males.
OP-i, as Chawngthu is better known, is the daughter of senior Congress leader C Chawngkunga. She is contesting from Hrangturzo against Lalduhawma, fielded by the seven-party opposition alliance United Democratic Front and who contested last November’s assembly elections for the Zoram Nationalist Party. Hrangturzo was won by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla then, but he vacated it for his bastion Serchhip.
“I am not at all demoralised because of my gender. The support from women in the constituency has been immense. Women accompanied us during the house-to-house campaigns,” OP-i said over phone.
The apex Mizo women’s body, the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, has come out in open support of the Congress candidate – it recently issued a public statement asking all women in the constituency to discard party affiliations and vote for OP-i.
“If I win, then one of my main aims would be to pave a wider path for women to occupy positions of power and governance in the future,” OP-i added.