On Thursday evening, the Congress released the names of 36 candidates to contest the 40-member Assembly on the November 28 polls. While 76-year-old chief minister Lal Thanhawla, who is hopeful for a third consecutive term, will be contesting from two constituencies — his home turf Serchhip and Champhai South, the party has fielded 12 new faces. In 2013 polls, Lal Thanhawla contested and won from two constituencies, both in Serchhip district.
The youngest candidate is 37-year-old Lalhmachhuana — who is going to replace K. Lalrinthanga in the Serlui constituency. “We are focusing on very young candidates this time. There are four candidates below the age of 40 and the majority are below 50. This is a conscious decision — the sitting MLAs have decided to give way to the younger lot,” says Dr. Lalmalsawma, President, Youth Congress.
The 12 new entrants have replaced eight sitting MLAs including R. Romawia from Aizawl North-I, Lalrinmawia Ralte and Lalrinawma from Aizawl East-I.
The four missing names (two from Siaha district, one from Lunglei district and one from Lawngtlai district) are yet to be announced. “We are still waiting for the inputs from the district Congress committees,” says Dr. Lalmalsawma.
There is only one woman candidate —Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu — who is contesting from Hrangturzo in Serchip. She was inducted into the Thanhawla cabinet last year, becoming the second woman in Mizoram to be inducted in the state’s council of ministers after a three-decade gap.
Mizoram is the only state in the Northeast with a Congress government, with incumbent Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, leading the 40-membered Assembly. The state will go to polls on November 28.