Aizawl: In a significant step forward for women representation in the Mizoram state legislature, the three major political parties, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), and the Congress, have each fielded two women candidates for the upcoming state elections scheduled for November 7.
This progressive move underscores the growing recognition of women’s leadership in the political arena and the commitment to creating a more inclusive governance system in Mizoram.
Let’s take a closer look at the women candidates vying for legislative seats in this landmark election.
MNF’s B Lalawmpuii – A Promising Challenger
Representing the MNF is B Lalawmpuii, a seasoned corporator in the Aizawl Municipal Corporation (AMC). Lalawmpuii is contesting from the Aizawl East-2 constituency, a general seat she won in the previous municipal elections on February 16, 2021. She has stepped into this race as a formidable replacement for Minister of State for Tourism, Robert Romawia Royte, who triumphed as an MNF nominee in the 2018 assembly polls but subsequently shifted to the Hachhek assembly in Mamit district. In this high-stakes contest, Lalawmpuii faces P.C. Lalhmingthanga of the Congress and B. Lalchhanzova of the ZPM, who had previously vied for this seat in 2018 as a ZPM candidate.
Prova Chakma – A New MNF Face
Another MNF woman candidate, Prova Chakma, is set to make her political debut. A dedicated teacher by profession, Prova Chakma is going head-to-head with the seasoned Nihar Kanti Chakma of the Congress, who has held the seat since 1998, following the passing of his father, Hari Kristo Chakma. N.K. Chakma boasts a remarkable track record of never being defeated. Challenging Prova Chakma is ZPM nominee Kawlhnuna, a retired Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer.
Congress’s Lalawmpuii Chawngthu – A Legacy in the Making
The Congress party has put forward former Minister of State, Lalawmpuii Chawngthu, daughter of former Minister C. Chawngkunga, to contest the Aizawl South-1 assembly constituency. Lalawmpuii is up against MNF’s K Vanlalvena, who is now a Rajya Sabha member, and the incumbent C. Lalsawivunga of the ZPM. Notably, Lalawmpuii had previously secured her position as a legislator in a by-election from the Hrangturzo seat in 2017 as a Congress nominee, and she was inducted into the ministry under the leadership of the then Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla. However, she lost in the last election to the MNF’s Lalchamliana, who currently serves as the Home Minister.
Meriam L. Hrangchal – Breaking Barriers
Meriam L. Hrangchal, the second woman candidate from the Congress, is running for the Lunglei South seat. As a new face in Mizoram politics, her candidature has sparked controversy due to opposition from the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the apex Mizo student body. The MZP has raised concerns about women married outside the Mizo community participating in politics. However, it’s worth noting that Hrangchal’s husband’s family identifies as Mizos, and he is a church elder of the Baptist Church of Mizoram. Hrangchal is pitted against the incumbent, Dr. K. Pachhunga of the MNF, and ZPM nominee Lalramliana.
The ZPM, too, has joined the movement for increased women’s representation in Mizoram’s politics.
ZPM’s Baryl Vanneihsangi- Radio Jokey-Turned-Politician
Baryl Vanneihsangi, a corporator in the AMC, has been nominated to contest from the Aizawl South-3 assembly constituency. She faces the incumbent Prof. F. Lalnunmawia of the MNF and Rosiamngheta, another AMC corporator.
Lalrinpuii is the second woman nominee from ZPM, challenging MNF’s Lawmawma Tochhawng, the present Vice Chairman of the Lunglei district High Power Committee (HPC), and Lalhlimpuia of the Congress.
With these six determined women candidates entering the electoral fray, Mizoram is poised to witness a historic election that could redefine the state’s political landscape. As the countdown to November 7 begins, the people of Mizoram eagerly await the results that may usher in a new era of representation and progress.
At the time of writing, BJP has already included four women in its candidates’ list while complete list is yet to be released.