The Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Friday announced names of its 36 candidates for the ensuing state assembly elections. . The ruling Congress will contest in all the 40-seats in the November 28 elections and the remaining four names will be announced after consulting with the autonomous district councils, a party official said.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is hopeful of retaining power for the third consecutive term, will be contesting from two constituencies- his current constituency Serchhip and Champia South. In 2013 polls, Thanhawla won from two constituencies, both from Serchhip district.
Of the 36 candidates, the Congress has fielded 12 new faces, including one woman candidate, Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, who is contesting from Hrangturzo in Serchhip. On Thursday, the party announced that it would field many new faces and rid some old members.
Thirty-six-year-old Lalhmachhuana, the youngest among the candidates, is replacing K Lalrinthanga in the Serlui constituency, according to party sources.
The 12 new entrants have replaced eight sitting MLAs, including R Romawia from Aizawl North-I, former Labour minister Lalrinmawia Ralte and Deputy Speaker R Lalrinawma from Aizawl East-I.
“We are focusing on very young candidates this time. There are four candidates below the age of 40 and the majority are below 50. This is a conscious decision — the sitting MLAs have decided to give way to the younger lot,” says Lalmalsawma, President of the Youth Congress.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the recent resignation of two of the senior party leaders would pose a major setback for the ruling government and cracks have already begun to appear in its ranks and file.
However, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge of Northeast Luizinho Faleiro rubbished the rumours and said it would not affect the party’s prospects in the election. People of Mizoram have faith in the leadership of Thanhawla, he said.
“With 32 MLAs, I am confident that we will win with comfortable majority to form the government for a third consecutive term. People of Mizoram have not lost faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla,” Faleiro was quoted as saying by PTI on Thursday.
At present, Mizoram is the only Congress-ruled state in the Northeast region. To retain its power under the incumbent leadership of Thanhawla, the Congress will fight it out with regional parties, including Mizo National Front (MNF) and the Mizo Peoples Conference (MPC).