Aizawl: Former Doordarshan Director General C Lalrosanga of the Mizo National Front (MNF) and an Independent candidate, Lalnghinglova Hmar, are the two main contenders for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram.
Lalrosanga, 62, faces 41-year-old Hmar, who has been jointly nominated by the Congress and the influential Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM).
But the spotlight will also be on two unusual contenders: 63-year-old Lalthlamuani, the first woman aspirant in a Mizoram parliamentary election, and 36-year-old TBC Lalvenchhunga, a retired Indian Navy sailor.
Lal Hriatrenga Chhangte, 54, is another Independent candidate while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Nirupam Chakma, 59, a former Congress Minister who joined the BJP some years ago.
Lalrosanga, contesting his first election, said that development of roads and communication facilities were his priority issues.
“Providing jobs to youths and skill development are the other important issues which will be taken up seriously if I win the the election,” Lalrosanga told IANS. Hmar, a sports organiser turned politician, said: “I am personally and my sponsoring parties – Congress and ZPM – are vehemently against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.”
Both Lalrosanga and Hmar said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill would jeopardise the demography of the indigenous tribals, who constitute 27-28 per cent of the 45.58 million population in northeast India.
Lalthlamuani, a Mizo Jewish leader, said: “Despite women electorate outnumbering men in Mizoram for decades, women are lagging behind in every governing and policy making bodies and legislative platforms. I am fighting for women's empowerment.”
Lalthlamuani, who owns some commercial vehicles, has four children and runs the NGO Chhinlung Israel People Convention (CIPC). She lost her husband in 2007. “I believe that women have a more vital role to play to save and uplift their country. Contesting this Lok Sabha election is just a stepping stone for women,” Lalthlamuani told IANS from her home at Dawrpui, near Mizoram’s capital Aizawl.
Mizoram has seen only two women Ministers in 32 years – in 1987 and 2014.
Former sailor Lalvenchhunga has been fielded by the People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), an anti-corruption watchdog turned political party. “A serious vision with foresight and foreknowledge are very essential for the all round development of a mountainous state like Mizoram,” Lalvenchhunga said.
Elections to Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat and by-elections to Aizawl West-1 Assembly seat will be held on April 11. The by-election was necessitated after ZPM legislator Lalduhoma vacated it to retain his Serchhip constituency. A total of 784,405 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. (IANS)
Also read: Mizoram news