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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Mizoram election result: Zoramthanga set to return as CM after decade, lists prohibition as topmost priority

Mizoram election result: Zoramthanga, who led his Mizo National Front back to power to the state after a decade in the opposition, has three main priority areas when he takes over as chief minister.

mizoram-elections Updated: Dec 11, 2018 22:30 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Aizawl
Mizo National Front chief Zoramthanga, who is set to return as Mizoram chief minister, at his home in Aizawl  as the votes in the state assembly election were counted (HT Photo)
Mizo National Front chief Zoramthanga, who is set to return as Mizoram chief minister, at his home in Aizawl as the votes in the state assembly election were counted (HT Photo)(HT Photo)
         

After getting routed in two successive elections, the Mizo National Front and its president Zoramthanga made an emphatic comeback on Tuesday winning the Mizoram assembly election comprehensively.

The regional outfit, which had been in power twice between 1998 and 2008, had managed to secure just 3 seats in the 40-member assembly 10 years ago and only 5 in 2013—losing both times to the Congress.

But on Tuesday it was Zoramthanga’s turn to smile as the party won 26 of the total seats and pushed Congress to the third spot with 5 seats behind the Zoram Peoples Movement, which won 8 seats.

“I had been predicting all along that we will win at least 25 seats. Fortunately, I was proved right. I am really grateful to the voters. This victory has been possible by the grace of god and the will of the people,” a beaming Zoramthanga, 74, told Hindustan Times at his residence.

“Voters rejected Congress because of financial mismanagement, lack of development and for allowing sale of liquor in the state,” the former chief minister added.

A vocal opponent of the Congress government’s policy to allow sale of liquor in the state three years ago, Zoramthanga said introduction of prohibition would be his government’s topmost priority.

 

“As promised to voters, there will be a total ban on sale of liquor. It will be our topmost priority. This would be followed by all round development, mainly of the roads, and overall socio-economic development of the people,” he said.

The chief minister in waiting said his government would scrap two flagship programmes of the Congress—New Land Use Policy (NLUP) and New Economic Development Policy (NEDP)—and introduce a new Socio Economic Development Programme (SEDP).

Though MNF is a constituent of NDA at the Centre and is also part of BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), both parties contested the polls independently.

“Any decision on continuing association with NDA and NEDA would be taken by the party head office. BJP has no place in Mizoram. It (Mizoram) is a Christian state and has a very complex society,” Zoramthanga said.

The new government is expected to take oath of office on Saturday.