Mizoram assembly elections 2018 counting day highlights: MNF ousts Congress

Mizo National Front has shown a strong performance, leaving Congress far behind in its wake.

Mizoram assembly elections 2018 counting day highlights: MNF ousts Congress
Photo courtesy: ANI

Aizawl: Mizo National Front delivered a stupendous performance to oust Congress in Mizoram after a gap of ten years. The party captured 26 seats in the 40-member assembly to inflict a humiliating defeat on outgoing CM Lal Thanhawla.

What would be even more embarassing for Lal Thanhawla would be that he lost from both the seats he contested in.

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Here are all the highlights from counting day:

# Thank you for being with us for the live updates.

# With the conclusion of of the Mizoram Assembly elections, MNF won 26 seats, Congress baggd 5 seats while BJP and Independents got 1 and 8 seats respectively.

# Congress national president Rahul Gandhi thanks voters of all five states where counting took place today. "I thank all people in states where we have won as well as in those where we lost."

# Outgoing CM Thanhawala concedes defeat. "I did not expect this result, am very disapppointed," he tells news agency ANI. He has submitted his resignation.

# MNF delegation meets Mizoram Governor



# Factors that may have worked for MNF

- Anti-incumbency against Conrgess

- Bolstered by Congress leaders joining its ranks

# Factors that may have worked against Congress:

- Anti-incumbency

- Ouster of key leaders

- Unsuccessful Bru repatriation

#MNF president Zoramthanga rules out the need for any coalition. "We will not have any coalition government either with BJP or any other ways because my party can form the government on its own as we have got 26 seats out of 40," he told news agency ANI.

# MNF supporters all set for a grand party:



# Scenes outside MNF party office in Aizawl:


# MNF's Larinsanga Ralte (Serlui), R Lalzirliana (Tawi), F. Lalnunmawia (Aizawl North-iii), Lalruatkima (Aizawl West-ii), F Lalnunmawia (Aizawl South-iii), Tawnluia (Tuichang), Zr. Thiamsanga (Champai North), TJ Lalnuntluanga (Champai North), Ramthanmawia (East Tuipui), Lalchamliana (Hrangturzo) and Vanlaltanpuia (Lunglei North) have all registered wins.

(Click here for full list of winners)

# MNF's vote share stands at 38% while it is 30.7% for Congress.

# Big setback for CM incumbent Thanhawla who has lost from both seats he contested from. MNF has won 12 seats so far, Independents triumphant in seven.

# Official ECI trends: Mizo National Front leading on 21 seats, Congress leading on 4 seats, BJP leading on 1 seat, and Independents on 7 seats.

# CM Thanhawla has lost from Champhai South seat to MNF's TJ Lalnuntluanga.

# MNF has delivered a solid performance with leads in 26 seats. Congress has leads in just nine.

# Incumbent CM Thanawla trailing from both constituencies he fought the elections from. MNF's Lalzirliana is ahead of BJP state president JV Hluna.


# MNF crosses half-way mark, now leading in 22 with Congress' lead cut down to 10. Others have leads in six seats.

# BJP has opened up a lead in two seats. Latest data shows MNF has pulled ahead and is leading in 17 seats while Congress is leading in 11.

# MNF has opened up a lead in 12 seats while Congress is leading in 10. Political analysts are largely suggesting that the early trends show that MNF could power its way to the majority mark - contrary to indications that a hung assembly may not be a possibility.

# MNF now leading in two seats while Congress has the lead in one.

# Congress and MNF both off the block with one leads each.

# Counting centres have been provided with absolutely tight security with state police and Central Armed Police Force deputed.

# Postal ballots being counted currently. Early trends should be coming in anytime now.

# Counting of votes begin!

# Tight security and a buzzing atmosphere outside counting centre in Aizawl:



# Click here for the full list of MLAs.

# Snap recap of 2013 assembly elections:

Congress – 34

MNF – 5

Mizoram People’s Conference - 1

# Who promised what this year:

Congress: The stakes are very high for Congress in Mizoram, the last bastion for the party in the North-East. Little wonder then that the party, in its manifesto, made promises galore. It said that the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) would be taken forward with enhancements for better implementation and better financial assistance. The party also promised to focus on technical education. If voted to power in Mizoram for the third consecutive time, students who clear the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) exam for Class 10 and above will be given laptops every year, the party manifesto said.

Interestingly, the party also promised to build racing tracks for motorsports enthusiasts in the state.

MNF: The party has said that it will make fighting corruption its number 1 priority. In its manifesto, MNF said that clean governance would be its mantra if voted to power. It also said that it would check on illegal migrants, provide a responsive administration, have a plan for rehabilitation for families of martyrs etc.

BJP: Looking to woo voters in the state to ensure a record result for itself here, the party has made a slew of promises which range from rice at Rs 1 per kilo, all-weather roads which are free from potholes, homes for homeless people and the promise to include the Mizo language in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. Apart from these, it has also promised to establish two medical colleges, three engineering colleges and several nursing training institutes.

# The commanders to watch out for:

Lal Thanhwala: A veteran in Mizo politics, Thanhwala first became CM of the state in 1984. It was only the start as he was back in office in 1989 and remained there till 1998. Thanwala would return to power in 2008 and is now looking to build on his dominance here. Political analysts say that anti-incumbency could spell Thanhwala's downfall but the seasoned politician has put on a confident face.

Zoramthanga: Not many outside of Mizoram may have heard of his name but that does not mean that Zoramthanga isn't a political force to reckon with. The only CM who has won two consecutive terms here, Zoramthanga has had a political association with Mizoram for over five decades.

A key figure in the Mizo Freedom Movement in the 1960s, Zoramthanga was second-in-command to Laldenga - the erstwhile leader of MNF. Having steadily worked his way up, Zoramthanga took over the reigns of MNF when Laldenga passed away in 1990.

# Key numbers:

National parties – 3

State parties – 3

Independents – 63

Total candidates - 209

# So near, yet so far

Mizoram recorded 80% voting on November 28. And while this number may seem quite high, it was actually lower than usual in this state. In the 2013 assembly elections, the overall voter turnout was 83.4%.

# David vs David, Goliath on the sidelines

Mizoram is the only state of the five that cast its vote in the last month which, for most parts, has a fight between two parties and in which BJP is neither. The battle here has always been between Congress and MNF with the two parties exchanging powers time and again. The incumbent CM - Thanhwala - has enjoyed two terms and has said he is confident of breaking the trend and storming his way to a hat-trick.

For the BJP, Mizoram remains the one final frontier in the north-east that remains to be conquered. Political analysts are not very certain of how the party would perform but if there's a hung verdict, the saffron party that has otherwise been prolific in most electoral performances, could still have a word or two to say.

# The rookie with a reputation

For all the talks of a Congress vs MNF battle, there is a new party on the block that is making the waves in Mizoram. The Zoram People's Movement - an alliance between Zoram Nationalist Party, Mizoram Peoples Conference and the newly formed Zoram Exodus Movement - was formed in 2017.

The third-wheel on a two-wheeled political machinery, the ZPM is expected to eat into votes of both the Congress and the MNF. Some exit polls predicting an MNF win have even predicted that it could displace Congress in the number 2 spot. If this indeed happens, the writing could well and truly be on the wall for the grand old party.

Lalduhoma, the chief of ZPM, previously urged voters in the state to ditch both Congress and MNF and usher in a new era of governance. He has promised – among several promises, to have clean governance and special help for farmers in the state.