One of the main contenders for the Mizoram Assembly polls is Lal Thanawla - the current Chief Minister of the Mizoram and a member of Congress. After almost a decade, the veteran Congress leader brought the party back to power in the state in the 2008 Mizoram Assembly Elections, and is currently elected from Serchhip and South Tuipui constituency.
A journalist by profession, Thanawla`s political journey started when he joined the underground regional political party – Mizo National Front in 1966. However, he quit the party a year later and joined the Indian National Congress (INC) where he was appointed as the Chief Organiser of the Aizawl District Congress Committee.
He was elected as the legislator for the first time in 1978 from Champhai seat. In 1979, he was elected from the same seat once again. The senior Congress leader was elected as the Chief Minister for the first time in 1984. However, he decided to step down and instead became the Deputy Chief Minister to make way for Laldenga.
This is not the first time that the senior Congress leader has been voted to power. He has served as the Chief Minister of the state three times earlier as well. He has served the state as the CM from 1984-1986, 1987-1998 and in the year 2003.
In 1987, he once again won the seat from the Serchhip constituency and was appointed as the Chief Minister of the state for the second time in 1989. He won the elections in 1993 again and formed an alliance with the Mizoram Janta Dal.
However, the winning streak of the veteran leader was halted when he was defeated in the Sechhip in the 1998 Assembly polls. For the next decade, he donned the role of the Opposition leader in the state. He is also known to have initiated peace process between the Government of India (GoI) and the National Front of Mizoram during the two decades of trouble in the state.