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Twin battles for Mizo CM

Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla

Aizawl, Nov. 22: The constituencies to watch out for in the November 25 Mizoram polls are Serchhip and Hrangturzo, where chief minister Lal Thanhawla is locked in a triangular battle.

His main rival is C. Lalramzauva, a senior advocate, fielded by the Mizo National Front-Mizoram People’s Conference (MNF-MPC) alliance, the Mizoram Democratic Alliance.

The third candidate is P.B. Lalsawmliana, of Zoram Nationalist Party, a social worker.

Lalramzauva is an old rival of Thanhawla, who got 31.72 per cent of the votes, as opposed to the former’s 39.68 per cent in the last Assembly elections in 2008.

He is likely to give the MLA a run for his money.

In Hrangturzo constituency, the chief minister has no serious contenders from the MDA or the ZNP unless there is an overnight change in the voters’ moods, say local residents.

Another constituency to watch is East Tuipui where MNF chief Zoramthanga is locked in a close contest with T. Sangkunga of the Congress and W. Chhuanawma of the ZNP.

Sangkunga recently retired as secretary of the government of Mizoram and was the president of the influential Central Young Mizo Association till last month.

ZNP president and legislator Lalduhawma, the dark horse in this elections, is battling to retain his seat in Aizawl West 1 urban constituency in a close fight against the MDA candidate from the MNF, K. Sangthuama, a former minister.

Sangthuama is a serious rival for the ZNP chief at a time when the ZNP seems to be catching the imagination of the electorate who claim to be “sick” of the other two major parties in the state.

This constituency also has the presence of T.B.C. Tlangthanmawii, the only woman candidate put up by the Congress this time. She is the president of the Congress Mahila wing.

Though local observers do not give her much of a winning chance, she can pull away votes from both the leading contenders, making the final outcome unpredictable, they said.

Home minister Lalzirliana is locked in a close contest with the MNF candidate Lalmalsawmi, a popular member of Aizawl Municipal Council.

Also a well-known anchor, Lalmalsawmi has wide support. The other candidates are P. Lalthatluanga of the ZNP.

Of special interest to many observers is Tuivawl constituency where Lalmuanpuia Punte, ZNP, a well-known student leader and tribal rights activist, is pitched against sitting MLA R.L. Pianmawia (Congress) and MNF man Gogo Lalremtluanga.

Punte’s low assets of around Rs 39,000 has attracted sympathisers from all over the state and outside who are contributing to his election funds ranging from a few rupees to a few thousands, which is keeping his campaign going.