Lok Sabha election 2019: First woman candidate among 6 in fray for Mizoram’s lone seat
Sixty-three-year- old Lalthlamuani is the first woman to contest parliamentary polls in MizoramUpdated: Mar 26, 2019 18:38 IST
For the first time in the history of parliamentary elections in Mizoram, a lone woman candidate has filed nominations for the state’s only Lok Sabha seat.
Sixty-three-year-old Lalthlamuani, a Jew, will be contesting as an Independent candidate against five male rivals in the constituency reserved for scheduled tribes (ST).
Eighty-three-year-old CL Ruala of the Congress is the sitting MP from the seat.
“It feels awesome to be the first woman candidate from Mizoram contesting for Lok Sabha,” said Lalthlamuani over phone from Aizawl adding that she decided to contest “after getting a signal from God.”
The ruling Mizo National Front has fielded retired director general of Doordarshar C Lalrosanga as its candidate while L Hmar, a journalist is the Congress-Zoram People’s Movement candidate.
Lalthlamuani had contested as an Independent candidate in the assembly elections last year from the Aizawl South-I constituency and had secured just 69 votes.
The grandmother of five runs an NGO called Chhinlung Israel People Convention (CIPC), which comprises of Mizo Jews who believe they are one of the ‘ten lost tribes of Israel’.
Mizoram is home to around 20,000 Jews who claim to be descendants of these tribes and the state has three synagogues, one of them run by Lalthlamuani.
“We are fighting for our identity and I want to make sure that the voice of the Lost Tribe of Israel is heard in the Centre. As a woman I would like to show that even a simple woman can take on male candidates,” she said.
Though women voters (402,408) outnumber men (381,991) in Mizoram they don’t have enough representation in legislative bodies.
In 2018 assembly polls none of the 15 women candidates in fray from the 40 seats secured a win. The previous assembly had just one woman legislator.
The situation isn’t much different in other states of the region though women voters outnumber men in three other states — Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the region elected only two women MPs (Sushmita Deb of Congress from Silchar and Bijaya Chakrabarty of BJP from Guwahati - both from Assam) from the total 25 seats in the eight states.