Congress in consolation win in Mizoram

Party retains power in north-eastern state, in contrast to its poor showing in four other states that went to the polls.

    Congress in consolation win in Mizoram
    Reports say the new land use policy had generated goodwill among voters for the ruling Congress Party. [EPA]

    The battered Congress party has registered a consolation win in India's north-eastern state of Mizoram, bagging 20 of the total 40 assembly seats.

    Since the Congress has already reached the half-way mark, the party has regained power for the third successive term in the state under chief minister Lal Thanhawla. The party was also leading in six more seats. 

    The opposition Mizo Democratic Alliance (MDA) was leading in just two seats, even as counting continues. 

    The showing by the Congress in Mizoram is in contrast to its dismal performance in four other states that went to the polls. Congress was routed in Delhi and Rajasthan, while it failed to wrest back Madhyra Pradesh and Chhatisgarh.

    In the run up to the elections, the ruling Congress in the state was confident of winning as according to its partymen in the state, its pro-poor policy and the new land use policy had generated goodwill among voters.

    Reports pointed out that Mizoram is the only state in India where women voters outnumber men by 9,806 in the electorate of 690,860.

    The opposition in Mizoram had fought the elections on the issue of Mizo identity. Reports said that the issue of identity was being raked up as the state continues to remain economically backward and suffers high unemployment.

    The Congress, which has won two elections in a row, campaigned on the issue of development. The party leadership also harped on the role it had played in maintaining peace in the once insurgency-hit state.

    During election campaigning, the opposition in Christian-dominated Mizoram state attempted to rake up the issue of the chief minister sporting the "tilak" on his forehead, a Hindu religious symbol, during his tour outside the state. But the Congress effectively downplayed the issue.


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