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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Zoramthanga: Second coming for the former rebel turned politician

Tuesday’s emphatic victory where Zoramthanga’s party won 26 of the total 40 seats in Mizoram is one positive swing, which the 74-year old would cherish.

mizoram-elections Updated: Dec 12, 2018 12:40 IST
Mizo National Front president Zoramthanga is set to reurn as Mizoram CM
Mizo National Front president Zoramthanga is set to reurn as Mizoram CM(HT Photo)
         

Mizo National Front president Zoramthanga is no stranger to ups and downs in life. The former rebel who gave up arms 32 years ago to join the political mainstream has seen many in the past five decades.

But Tuesday’s emphatic victory where his party won 26 of the total 40 seats in Mizoram is one positive swing, which the 74-year old would cherish.

It came after the party failed miserably in the past two elections when it was reduced to single digits. In 2008, the Zoramthanga-led MNF lost power to Congress after a 10-year stint and managed to win just 3 seats. Five years ago, the party secured 5 seats.

Read: Mizoram assembly polls: MNF returns to power as Congress loses last bastion in northeast

Born in 1944 at Samthang, Zoramthanga completed his BA from Manipur University in 1966. But soon afterwards instead of pursuing higher studies or taking a job he joined the Mizo National Front.

The Front was formed by Laldenga as a reaction to the Centre’s alleged indifference towards Mizos after the famine of 1959 and also to seek a separate state or even secede from India.

Watch:  Mizoram election result 2018: Why Congress lost its last Northeast bastion

The group undertook several attacks on government offices and security forces starting from the early 60s till a peace accord was signed with the Centre in 1986 paving the way for MNF’s transformation from a rebel group to a political party.

Also Read: Mizoram election result: Mizoram doesn’t need BJP, says MNF’s CM candidate Zoramthanga

Zoramthanga, who rose through the ranks to become vice-president of the party and had spent several years underground in Bangladesh, became a minister in the Laldenga-led MNF government in 1987.

In 1990, after Laldenga’s demise, Zoramthanga was made MNF’s president-a post he has held for the past 28 years. He became chief minister in 1998 and again in 2003.

Click here for overall coverage on assembly elections results.