Congress’s Lal Thanzara, former Mizoram minister and likely political heir to five-time Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, won bypolls to the Aizawl North III constituency in a landslide victory where he won more votes than both his opponents combined. Thanzara won 6,175 (56 per cent) of the 10,916 votes polled.
Lal Thanzara had quit the seat in August following opposition attacks after an expose by online news portal Scroll.in claimed he held more than 21 per cent equity shares in a Delhi-based company that was given several contracts through the PWD by his brother CM Lal Thanhawla.
The opposition had mounted further attacks by making public documents that showed a firm he owned had been supplying over Rs 22 crore worth of “high-protein” biscuits to the state’s anganwadis at a time he held posts of Parliamentary Secretary and MoS in his brother’s government.
Emerging from the vote-counting centre soon after results were formally declared at 9.45 am, Lal Thanzara said: “I received more votes than I hoped for because people felt sorry for me and what I faced.” He continued to deny any wrongdoing in the shares and biscuits scandals and accused the opposition of spreading rumours.
“I think this result shows that people are not impressed with attacks based on lies. So my hope and belief is that parties will learn from this experience and stop taking the initiative to attack opponents with lies. Today, I think it is extremely significant that the people of the constituency have given me more votes than ever and that my opponents’ votes combined trail by more than 1,500 votes in spite of me being attacked hard during the election campaign,” he said.