Triangular contest for lone Mizoram seat

The fight for Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat is likely to be a triangular contest between the Congress, the UDF and the AAP. Congress veteran and sitting MP C L Ruala will be facing stiff challenges from eight-party alliance United Democratic Front’s nominee -teacher-turned-technocrat-turned-entrepreneur Robert Romawia Royte – and Aam Aadmi Party candidate  M Lalmanzuala, a former bureaucrat. The Congress had renominated 79-year-old Ruala from this seat two weeks ago. The UDF, led by main Opposition Mizo National Front and also comprising the BJP, however, witnessed sharp differences over selection of its candidate for the lone seat.

Zoram Nationalist Party chief Lalduhawma even announced last week that his outfit was no longer part of the alliance, but eventually all partners in coalition came together. Sources said UDF’s Lok Sabha candidate will be Royte, a former principal of a government college who became a Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan technocrat under the MNF government. He later quit the mission to start his own venture, North-East Consultancy Services (NECS). AAP’s Lalmanzuala is a retired IAS officer and former chief secretary of Mizoram.