Lalthanhawla wedded to Mizoram’s development, as usual (Profile)December 8th, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS
Aizawl, Dec 8 (IANS) Sixtysix-year-old Lalthanhawla, three-time chief minister of Mizoram, who romped home to power Monday with a thumping win yet again in Mizoram, is the most acceptable face of the Congress.Known in the mountainous state for his towering personality, Lalthanhawla has been with the Congress for the last four decades and became a legislator for the first time in 1978 when Mizoram was a Union Territory.
In 1984, the Congress swept the polls and Lalthanhawla became the chief minister. He gave up his chief ministership in his first tenure when the peace accord was signed between New Delhi and guerrilla outfit the Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1986.
Lalthanhawla quit as part of the agreement with the MNF to make way for an interim administration under guerrilla leader Laldenga. This was one of Laldenga’s conditions ahead of signing the peace accord.
Even today, people remember Lalthanhawla’s gesture of stepping down since this paved the way for ushering in peace in Mizoram, a state of about 900,000 people.
“This is the verdict for change and a big snub to the 10-year-old misrule and corruption of the MNF government,” a jubilant Lalthanhawla said.
He said: “We are committed to providing a stable government with our focus on development and well being of the people.”
He shot back to power as chief minister in the 1989 polls following the fall of the Laldenga government after nine legislators withdrew support in August 1988.
He was chief minister for two consecutive terms between 1989 and 1998 before being ousted by Zoramthanga of the MNF.
One scar in his long political career was the chargesheet filed against him in October 2003 by a lower court accusing him of defrauding the state exchequer in collusion with some businessmen. He denied the charges.