AIZAWL: The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) on Tuesday wrested the Tuirial assembly seat from the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and increased its strength to 28 in the 40-member assembly, officials said.
In a four-cornered contest, the MNF candidate K. Laldawngliana, who secured 5,820 votes (39.96 per cent) defeated his ZPM rival Laltlanmawia by a margin of 1,284 votes. Congress ended up at 3rd position as its candidate Chalrosanga Ralte got 3,927 votes (26.92 per cent votes). The BJP nominee K. Laldinthara managed only 246 votes, which is 1.69 per cent of the total valid votes polled.
Mizoram Chief Minister and MNF President Zoramthanga congratulated Laldawngliana for his triumph. The Chief Minister tweeted: "My best wishes to Pu K. Laldawngliana, who got elected from the Mizo National Front party ticket at 4-Tuirial (ST) Assembly Constituency By-election. May you always be a pillar of strength for the people."
The counting of votes was held at the Kolasib Government College. The bypoll to the Tuirial Assembly constituency in Kolasib district bordering Assam was held on October 30 following the death of sitting legislator Andrew H. Thangliana of the ZPM. Over 81.29 per cent of the 18,582 eligible voters cast their votes in the bypoll to decide the fate of four candidates.
With the winning of the Tuirial seat, the ruling MNF's strength in the 40-member assembly now increased to 28 while Congress has five members, with the support of the five independent MLAs the ZPM's strength is six and BJP has one legislator. (IANS)