After securing 26 seats, the Mizo National Front (MNF) has won the majority in the 2018 Mizoram Assembly elections. Congress had only 5 seats while BJP managed to gain 1.
Recent reports stated that Zoramthanga was unanimously elected leader of the MNF during a meeting of the newly-elected party MLAs on Tuesday. Late in the evening, MNF President Zoramthanga reached the Governor’s residence to stake claim to form the government.
Aizawl: A delegation of Mizo National Front (MNF) led by its President Zoramthanga met Governor Kummanam Rajasekharan after the party won 26 seats in the state Assembly polls. #MizoramElections2018 pic.twitter.com/hUe1oL2TzS
— ANI (@ANI) December 11, 2018
“We will not have any coalition government either with BJP or any other way because my party can form the government on its own. We have got 26 seats out of 40. We’re a part of NEDA (North-East Democratic Alliance) and NDA, but we wouldn’t like to join Congress or UPA,” Zoramthanga said.
News agency PTI reported that Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla has submitted his resignation to the Governor K, Rajasekharan. The governor asked him to continue in office until alternative arrangements were made, a Raj Bhavan official said.
Thanhawla, who earlier successfully contested the Assembly elections a record nine times, lost in both constituencies, Champai South and Serchhip, from where he contested.
The Congress has won five constituencies, down from the 34 seats it had won in the 2013 elections. The only seat the BJP won was Tuichawng, where B.D. Chakma defeated the MNF’s R.M. Chakma.
Congress’ last bastion in the Northeast
Mizoram had remained the Congress’ last bastion in the Northeast. Since 2016, the Congress has lost Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura to BJP and its allies. However, it lost Mizoram to the MNF.
The BJP will likely opt for an alliance with the MNF to further consolidate its position in the Northeast. However, a coalition seems highly impossible after Zoramthanga has refused to join any party.
Since 1986, governments in Mizoram have shifted between the Congress and the MNF, each lasting not more than two terms. The MNF ruled Mizoram from 1998 to 2008 after the Congress ruled the northeastern state for almost 10 years.
The MNF won elections and formed its government in Mizoram twice, first under Laldenga (1986–88) and then under Zoramthanga (1998–2008). However, in 2008, it suffered a strong anti-incumbency wave and managed to win only 3 seats in the elections.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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