Mizoram is going to witness a multi-cornered contest with six candidates fighting for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the ensuing parliamentary election.
C Lalrosanga representing the ruling party Mizo National Front (MNF) is considered to have an edge over the other candidates.
But Independent candidate Lalnghinglova Hmar, a journalist and a sports organizer supported by the alliance of Mizoram’s opposition strongholds, Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the Indian National Congress (INC) is believed to enjoy people’s goodwill that can be a blessing for him at the hustings.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has played a card by nominating a Chakma candidate in the form of Nirupam Chakma who was elected to the Mizoram Legislative Assembly for five times. He also has 10 years of experience as a minister to back him up.
However, Nirupam Chakma’s candidature did not go down well among the state BJP leaders.
Immediately after announcing the list of candidates, the state BJP had showed strong resentment at the central leadership’s decision to field a candidate from the Chakma community in the State’s lone Lok Sabha constituency.
The BJP state president J V Hluna had openly told the media that the central leadership rejected their proposal to field a Mizo candidate on the ground that the Mizo people did not welcome the BJP wholeheartedly.
The state BJP unit had also urged the central leadership to support the MNF candidate instead of fielding its own.
Hluna was also quoted as saying that most Mizos would be reluctant for a Chakma candidate as there is a ‘growing anti-Chakma feeling because of the illegal immigration and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill’.
The minority Buddhist Chakmas and the Brus – a mix of Hindus and Christians – are envisaged to be beneficiaries of the Bill, if passed by the Parliament, he had told the media after the announcement of Nirupam Chakma’s candidature.
The anti-corruption watch dog turned political party People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) has fielded its own candidate, TBC Lalvenchhunga.
The other independent candidates are Lalhriatrenga Chhangte, a former deputy controller of Mines and the lone female candidate Lalthlamuani who is supported by Chhinlung Israel Peoples Convention, an NGO which works for the welfare of the Ephraim community
Mizoram is the only Lok Sabha constituency in the north-eastern, and covers the entire area of the state.
The seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
Its first member of Parliament (MP) was Sangliana of the Mizo Union who represented this constituency in the fifth Lok Sabha when it became a union territory on January 21, 1972.
In the 1977 election, independent politician, R Rothuama, was elected and went on to be re-elected in 1980.
Lalduhoma of the Indian National Congress (INC) was elected in 1984.
Mizoram became a state of India on February 20, 1987.
In the next election in 1989, C Silvera also of the INC was elected. He went on to win the seat in the next two elections, serving from 1989–98 as its MP.
In 1998, Independent candidate H Lallungmuana was elected by a victory margin of only 41 votes. From 1999 to 2009, this constituency was represented for two terms by politician, Vanlalzawma, firstly as an independent candidate and then as a member of the Mizo National Front.
As of the 2014 elections, this constituency’s MP is C L Ruala of the INC who has represented this seat since 2009. The most successful party in this constituency is the INC which has won six times out of the 12 elections held.
Elections to Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat will be held on April 11.
Around 7, 84,405 electorates are eligible to exercise their franchise. Women again outnumbered men in Mizoram. Of the total voters, 4, 02,408 are women and 3, 81,991 men.
There are six third gender voters.