Battle lines drawn for lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat

April 1st, 2009 - 12:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Aizawl, April 1 (IANS) The battle lines are drawn for elections to the lone parliamentary seat in Mizoram with the fight expected to be between the ruling Congress party and the independent candidate backed by a combine of the main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC).
Four candidates, C.L. Ruala of Congress, H. Lallungmuana, an independent supported by the MNF and the MPC, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) nominee Lalawmpuia Chhangte, and independent candidate Rualpawla are in the fray for the April 16 parliamentary poll.

“The contest is expected to be between the ruling Congress aspirant and the MNF-MPC combine candidate although the Congress party is emerging as the frontrunner after the party swept the assembly elections last year,” L.T. Sanga, a political analyst, told IANS.

The Congress last won the Lok Sabha seat in Christian dominated Mizoram in 1996, when party veteran Silvera C bagged the seat defeating the MNF nominee by a margin of 14,481 votes.

The MNF-MPC candidate Lallungmuana was a former MP from Mizoram. Sitting MP Vanlalzawma from the MNF has decided not to contest the elections this time.

In last year’s assembly elections, the Congress won 32 seats in the 40-member house while the MNF bagged only three seats. The by-poll to the South Tuipui assembly segment will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls April 16. The seat was vacated by Chief Minister Lalthanhawla, who had won from two assembly segments in the Dec 2 assembly elections.

Unlike most other Indian states, Mizoram also stands out for the fact that women voters here outnumber men. There are 318,150 women voters as against 311,005 men.

Mizoram chief electoral officer Lalmalsawma said: “Around 800 polling stations would be set up across the state that borders Myanmar and Bangladesh. There is no report of any untoward incident so far from any part of the state.”

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