Mizo National Front leader Zoramthanga Saturday took oath as the Chief Minister of Mizoram after the party swept the Assembly elections in the state. The MNF defeated Congress which has been in power in Mizoram for two terms under Lal Thanawala. The Grand Old Party was relegated to the third spot, winning only five seats in the 40-member Legislative Assembly. This is Zoramthanga’s second stint as the CM; he held the position between 1998 to 2008.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the newly-appointed chief minister. Taking to Twitter, he said, “Congratulations to Mr. Zoramthanga on taking oath as Mizoram’s Chief Minister. Wishing him the very best for his tenure. May the Government fulfil people’s aspirations and work towards the state’s growth.”
Congratulations to Mr. Zoramthanga on taking oath as Mizoram’s Chief Minister. Wishing him the very best for his tenure. May the Government fulfil people’s aspirations and work towards the state’s growth.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 15, 2018
The MNF won 26 seats while the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), an alliance of non-Congress, non-MNF parties formed last year, came in second with eight seats to become the principal Opposition party.
Following the results, Zoramthanga had said, “I had predicted we will win anywhere between 25-30 seats. And I had also said that Congress could come below 10. We have come back after 10 years. We can comfortably form the government on our own.”
The MNF was formed in 1961 under the leadership of Laldenga who led a Mizo uprising against the Indian state in 1966 that was quelled, only to spark two decades of insurgency. In 1986, the MNF signed a historic peace accord. Lal Thanhawla, who had led the Congress to victory in 1984, stepped down to make way for Laldenga as chief minister.
Zoramthanga was a close aide of Laldenga and took charge of the MNF after Laldenga’s death in 1990.