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New Delhi: A look at the trends coming from Mizoram indicates that the northeastern state is witnessing a repeat of the 1998 assembly poll results. Lal Thanhawla lost the elections from Serchip that year too.
In that election, the Mizo National Front (MNF), the party born out of the Mizo Accord signed with the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 to end insurgency, had overthrown the Congress government, led by Lal Thanhawla. It grabbed the state by winning 21 of the 40 assembly constituencies while the Congress was reduced to six seats. That success was extra sweet for the MNF as its first government, led by the celebrated Mizo leader Pu Laldenga, was dismissed by the Rajiv Gandhi government before it could complete its term and imposed President’s Rule in September 1988. The state went to polls in 1989 after four months of President’s Rule in which Congress returned to power.
After the 1998 poll results were out giving a clear mandate to the MNF, Pu Zoramthanga became the state’s chief minister. He took over the party’s top post after Laldenga passed away in 1990. Zoramthanga led the party to repeat its win in the 2003 elections, again with 21 seats. However, Congress managed to raise its number from six to 12.
According to the latest information from the state, the MNF is ahead in 25 seats. If the trends turn into seats for the MNF, the party would break its own record in an assembly poll. Since it first contested elections in the state in 1989 as MNF, it hasn’t won more than 21 seats. In the 1987 elections, MNF candidates contested the polls as independents as it was not a registered party. As many as 24 Independents won the elections, out of which most were supporters of MNF, who came together after the results to support Laldenga to form a government. Most independents contested the elections under the symbol chosen by the MNF as its party’s sign.
That trend was a repeat of Assam when the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), born out of the Assam Accord signed with the Rajiv Gandhi government in December 1985, also contested the 1985 assembly polls as independents, again with a common poll symbol chosen by the party as its sign.