Former Mizoram CM Lalthanhawla
Former Mizoram CM Lalthanhawla. File photo

Mizoram state Congress president and former chief minister Lal Thanhawla said he would soon retire from politics and pass on the party leadership to a more younger and energetic leader.

The 83-year old veteran politician told reporters on Sunday that he has decided to retire from politics and not contest the next Assembly elections due in 2023.

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In his public speech at the party office on Friday, the Congress leader said he had no more intention to contest the next Assembly hinting at his retirement soon.

The former Mizoram CM said he would hold the Congress leadership for only the current term (2019-2022) to make room for younger leaders, who are more able and energetic.

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The five-time former chief minister expressed hope that the Congress party will continue to grow under the new leadership.

Highly placed sources said the present Congress vice president and former finance minister Lalsawta is likely to replace Lal Thanhawla as the party head.

Lal Thanhawla joined the underground movement spearheaded by Mizo National Front (MNF) in the 1960s and entered into active politics after his release from jail in 1967.

In 1973 he became the president of Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), the post which he holds till date.

After his election as a legislator in UT elections in 1978, Lal Thanhawla had lost only two state assembly polls in 1998 and 2018.

He became the chief minister of the state at least five times between 1984 and 2018.

In 1986, when the Mizoram Peace Accord was signed between the Union government and the MNF, Lal Thanhawla stepped down from the chief minister to make way for MNF leader Laldenga.

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