Loss due to anti-incumbency, impact of Covid: MNF chief Zoramthanga | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Loss due to anti-incumbency, impact of Covid: MNF chief Zoramthanga

Dec 04, 2023 07:11 PM IST

MNF, which had bagged 26 of the total 40 seats in the state in 2018, managed to secure just 10 seats this time

GUWAHATI: Outgoing Mizoram chief minister and president of ruling , Mizo National Front Zoramthanga, on Monday said his party’s defeat to (ZPM) was as an outcome of anti-incumbency and impact of Covid-19. Zoram Peoples Movement

Outgoing Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga (HT file)
Outgoing Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga (HT file)

MNF, which had bagged 26 of the total 40 seats in the state in 2018, managed to secure just 10 seats this time.

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The biggest surprise of the day for the party was the defeat of Zoramthanga from the Aizawl East I seat to ZPM’s Lalthansanga by a margin of 2,101 votes. Senior party leader and deputy chief minister in the outgoing government, Tawnluia, was also defeated by ZPM’s W Chhuanawma by a margin of 909 votes.

“Our party got defeated because of anti-incumbency. People were also not satisfied with my performance because of the Covid-19 onslaught. I accept the verdict of the people and I hope that the next government will perform,” Zoramthanga told journalists in Aizawl.

Following the declaration of results, the 79-year-old met Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati at the Aizawl Raj Bhawan and submitted his resignation along with a few other MNF leaders.

Also Read: Mizoram’s new government will have zero tolerance for corruption: Lalduhoma

Though MNF was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at Centre, the two parties didn’t have any alliance in Mizoram. After Monday’s loss, questions have been raised on whether the regional party would continue to remain in NDA.

“It depends on the decision of my party. I am one of the founding members of NDA and personally I have no mind to leave it,” Zoramthanga, who had held the chief minister’s post thrice, said.

While Monday’s result is a setback for the MNF as a party, it could be the end of a long and chequered career for Zoramthanga, a rebel turned politician. Prior to signing of the Mizoram Peace Accord in 1986, the 79-year-old was one of the prominent leaders of MNF, a militant outfit earlier.

Zoramthanga has headed MNF since 1990 and had earlier been chief minister for two terms--first in 1998 and then again in 2008.

“It seems ZPM’s victory is the outcome of voter fatigue with MNF and Congress, the two parties that have ruled the state since Mizoram became a state in 1987. Voters this time wanted to give a chance to another party,” said J Doungel, professor of political science in Mizoram University.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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