| C. Lalawmpuii |
Aizawl, May 16: A 35-year-old spinster today broke the 27-year-old jinx in Mizoram by becoming the first woman MLA in the male-dominated state politics since 1987.
C. Lalawmpuii, the Mizoram Pradesh Youth Congress president, won the Hrangturzo Assembly bypoll by a margin of 2,503 votes against her lone rival, Lalduhawma, of the eight-party combine United Democratic Front (UDF).
“I would like to thank God and all my campaigners and the people of Hrangturzo constituency,” Lalawmpuii said.
Bypoll to the Hrangturzo seat, left vacant by chief minister Lal Thanhawla, was held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls on April 11. Lal Thanhawla had won the seat in addition to his traditional Serchhip seat in the November Assembly polls.
Lalawmpuii said the welfare of the people of her constituency would be her top priority. Secondly, she would pave a wider path for women’s empowerment.
Lalawmpuii is the daughter of senior Congress leader C. Chawngkunga. She has been in active politics since the last 10 years.
The state’s apex women body, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl, which has been fighting for women representation in the state Assembly for the past 30 years, had even come in out in open support of the Congress candidate in the bypoll. It issued a statement asking all women in the constituency to vote for the woman candidate across party lines.
Though the womenfolk are accorded a respectable position in Mizo society and form a large part of the workforce, they haven’t been able to make their mark in state politics. While about 45 per cent of Mizoram’s total female population work, in politics, their presence is restricted to barely 3 per cent.
The first woman legislator of Mizoram, K. Thansiami, was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1984 on a Mizoram People’s Conference ticket. She beat veteran politician C. Silvera, who later became Union minister for health. She won by a convincing margin in Aizawl West constituency.
The last Mizo woman legislator, Lalhlimpuii, was elected as MLA in 1987 and was designated minister of state in the then Laldenga cabinet.