Four-time Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla has beaten his most persistent rival in his home bastion for the third time in a row even as many of his Cabinet Ministers are able to hold on to their seats,some surprisingly by thin margins.
Senior Advocate C Lalramzauva this year contested on a Mizoram Democratic Alliance ticket to take on Lal Thanhawla at the veteran’s bastion Serchhip. He lost again by 734 votes.
The lawyer has taken on the CM thrice in a row now,the first two times on a Zoram Nationalist Party ticket. In 2003,C Lalramzauva lost to Lal Thanhawla by 1399 votes. In 2008,he lost again,but by a thinner margin of 952 votes.
This is the sixth time Lal Thanhawla has won from Serchhip,losing only once in 1998 to a Mizo National Front candidate K Thangzuala by 696 votes.
He however won the seat again in 2003,when the MNF did not field any candidate there.
Home Minister R Lalzirliana,a Congress veteran,has also been able to retain his Tawi seat in spite of a strong campaign from former journalist and current councillor of the Aizawl Municipal Council,Lalmalsawmi,of the MDA. He won by a margin of just 947 votes after a hectic campaign where he was rebuked several times by the powerful election watchdog Mizoram People’s Forum and was investigated for a Model Code of Conduct violation.
His Cabinet colleague Lalsawta,education minister in the last government,meanwhile barely scraped through with a winning margin of just 177 votes against MDA heavyweight Sailothanga Sailo in the Aizawl East 2 seat,an urban constituency.
Among the Cabinet Ministers,one of those who won by a large margin is controversial Health Minister Lalrinliana Sailo. Attacked by the opposition for his alleged role in drug trafficking,Sailo however managed to hold on to his Tuichang seat comfortably,winning by a margin of 2985 votes.
Sports Minister Zodintluanga,whose sister Rosie is Lal Thanhawla’s daughter-in-law,also won by a margin of 2504 votes to retain the Chakma dominated Thorang seat. Zodintluanga has been one of the most popular ministers in the previous government,building or completing various sports stadiums and upgrading football fields,a hit with sport-crazy Mizo youth.
His cabinet colleague J H Rothuama meanwhile also retained his Champhai South seat,winning by a margin of 1650 votes.
Minister of State P C Lalthanliana meanwhile also won by more than 800 votes in Lunglei North,while John Siamkunga,a close confidante of Lal Thanhawla for whom he vacated the South Tuipui seat after winning two seats in 2008,also had a comfortable win.
The largest winning margin for a Congress candidate was,however,the victory of Dr B D Chakma in the Tuichawng seat,winning by a margin of 8726 votes. He was also the first to be declared a winner on counting day.
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