Mizoram polls: Very few women candidates in fray

Women voters outnumber male voters in Mizoram but not a single woman has been elected to the Mizoram Assembly in the last 25 years.

Aizawl: Women voters outnumber male voters in Mizoram but not a single woman has been elected to the Mizoram Assembly in the last 25 years.
The situation does not appear different for the November 25 state polls as the two main parties - Congress and MNF - have named only one woman candidate each.

Women voters outnumber male voters by 12,707 in the electorate of 6,86,305.

The ruling Congress, which promised to nominate more woman this time around, fielded only one candidate, president of the Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee TBC Tlangthanmawii.

Tlangthanmawii would take on the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) chief Lalduhawma and former Transport Minister K Sangthuama of the Mizo National Front (MNF), the senior partner of the Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA) in the Aizawl West I seat.

The main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), which inducted the first and only woman minister in 1987, also managed to nominate only one woman, Lalmalsawmi, a well-known local TV personality, who would take on the state Home minister R Lalzirliana in the Tawi constituency in Aizawl district.

Lalmalsawmi was elected as one of the six women councillors of the first Aizawl Municipal Council held on November three, 2010, in the reserved seats for women, and was now ready to jump into the all-male arena of politics where not a single woman was elected to the state legislature in the past 25 years.

Former president of the Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) or Mizo Women Federation and retired chairperson of the state public service commission B Sangkhumi was likely to contest from Champhai South seat as independent.

Sangkhumi was expected to get the MNF ticket and contest from Champhai seat, but the seat was given to the MPC in an agreement made between the two alliance partners prompting her to contest as Independent candidate.

Neither the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC), junior partner of the MNF in the MDA, which would contest eight seats nor the ZNP, which decided to go alone in the coming polls, nominated any woman candidate.

Saptawni was the first Mizo woman to be nominated to the Assembly and was made a legislator in 1972 by the then Mizo Union (MU) party.

Saptawni was followed by K Thansiami and Rokungi who were nominated by the People?s Conference (PC) and the Congress in 1979 and 1984 respectively.

Lalthanmawii of the PC was the first Mizo woman to be elected to the Assembly in 1979, followed by K Thansiami of PC who was elected in 1984.

The first and only woman minister ever in the history of Mizoram was Lalhlimpuii Hmar inducted in the MNF government led by the late Laldenga in 1987 while no other woman made it to the state legislature since then.

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