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Congress wins Assembly elections

The opposition Congress party in Mizoram on Monday stormed back to power after being in political wilderness for 10 years by winning an absolute majority.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2008 19:45 IST

The opposition Congress party in Mizoram on Monday stormed back to power after being in political wilderness for 10 years by winning an absolute majority, while the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) accepted defeat as votes cast to elect the 40-member state legislature were counted.

According to latest results, the Congress won 21 seats and was leading in four others, while the MNF managed to win in just four seats. Another regional party, the Mizo People's Conference, bagged just one seat out of the 26 results declared so far.

In a major upset, Chief minister Zoramthanga and leader of the MNF lost the North Champai seat to his Congress rival.

Accepting his party's defeat, Zoramthanga said: "We accept the mandate and would work like a responsible opposition."

"This is a verdict for change and a big snub to the 10-year-old misrule and corruption of the MNF government," Lalthanhawla, the Congress chief ministerial candidate, told IANS.

"We are committed to providing a stable government with our focus on development and well being of the people," he added.

Lalthanhawla, a former three-time chief minister, won both the seats he contested. He beat F Lalthanzuala of the MNF by 96 votes to bag the South Tipui seat and got the Serchhip assembly seat by 952 votes.

PC Lalthanliana of the Congress won the Lunglei North seat, defeating his nearest MNF rival by 705 votes, while Congress candidate RL Pianmawia won the Tuivawl seat. He defeated his MNF rival by 473 votes.

Congress candidate R. Lalzirliana won the Tawi seat defeating his nearest MNF candidate by 1,211 votes. In the Turial seat, Hminhdailova Khiangte of the Congress party defeated his MNF rival by 1,022 votes.

Congress candidate H. Liansailova won the Aizawl North seat, defeating his MNF rival by 266 votes. Nihar Kanti Chakma of the Congress party defeated his nearest MNF rival in the West Tuipui seat by 1,540 votes, while S Hiato of the same party won the Saiha seat, beating his MNF rival. Congress candidate L. Ralte won the Hachhek seat, defeating his MNF rival.

Victory celebrations by the Congress erupted across the state as news of the party winning absolute majority came in. Jubilant Congress supporters were seen dancing and singing on the streets in Aizwal.

"This is a great victory as the MNF government swindled millions of rupees in central funds meant for Mizoram's development. The MNF government was indulging in rampant corruption and the people gave them a fitting reply in the vote," said T. Sailo, a Congress supporter.

The MNF had been in power in Mizoram for the last 10 years. In the last assembly elections held in 2003, it secured 21 seats, while the Congress bagged 12 and seven went to other smaller parties.