Anti-incumbency, corruption help Congress to win in Mizoram (News Analysis)December 8th, 2008 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS
Aizawl, Dec 8 (IANS) A strong anti-incumbency factor and an aggressive campaign by the Congress party highlighting corruption charges against the Mizo National Front (MNF) government was instrumental in helping the party to make a clean sweep of the assembly elections in Mizoram.”This is a verdict for change and a big snub to the 10-year-old misrule and corruption of the MNF government,” Lalthanhawla, the Congress chief ministerial candidate, told IANS.
“We are committed to providing a stable government with our focus on development and well being of the people.”
In the run-up to the polls for the 40-member legislature, the Congress roped in their star campaigners, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, besides other leaders and all of them harped on the theme of bad governance, corruption and poor accountability of the MNF government.
“The MNF government misused central funds meant to tackle the famine like situation arising out of the bamboo flowering. The funds failed to reach the affected people with many of them were literally starving,” Lalthanhawla said.
“The verdict this time clearly reflects the feelings of the people of Mizoram for the MNF.”
The MNF accepted defeat. “We accept the mandate and would work like a responsible opposition,” said outgoing chief minister Zoramthanga.
Electioneering was rather low key and there was a general feeling that the verdict this time would be a fractured one.
“On the surface there were no frontrunners in the elections although a strong anti-incumbency wave was brewing. There were indications in the run up to the polls that it could be a hung assembly, but the thumping Congress victory has surprised even the Congress,” said M. Lalthingliana, a community elder.
Congress supporters were jubilant and said the victory was on expected lines.
“This is a great victory as the MNF government swindled millions of rupees of central funds meant for Mizoram’s development. The MNF government was indulging in rampant corruption. The people gave them a fitting reply,” said T. Sailo, a Congress supporter.
“Anti-incumbency factor and corruption were the main causes for the MNF defeat,” said Lalthuama Sailo, a political analyst.
“The high percentage of voter turnout (83 percent of 611,124 voters) helped the Congress to recapture power.”