Aizawl: In a significant political development ahead of the state assembly elections, K T Rokhaw, one of the five Congress legislators in Mizoram, has officially switched his allegiance to the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF).
The 59-year-old Rokhaw, a seasoned assembly member, tendered his resignation as a member of the state legislature to the Assembly Speaker, Lalrinliana Sailo, on Tuesday.
This move by Rokhaw comes in light of the MNF’s decision to nominate him as their candidate for the upcoming elections to the 40-member state legislature, specifically from his home constituency – Palak.
His name will be officially announced when the MNF announces the names of all its 40 candidates at a function on Wednesday, the day when Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who is also president of the party, will officially kick off the poll campaign in Aizawl.
Following the submission of his resignation, Rokhaw addressed the media, explaining that he had carefully consulted with the people of his constituency before making the pivotal decision to join the MNF and run on the regional party’s ticket.
The Speaker promptly accepted Rokhaw’s resignation, paving the way for his political transition.
Rokhaw’s political journey has seen its share of twists and turns. He initially served as the personal assistant to then-Assembly Speaker Hiphei during Hiphei’s first term presiding over the state legislature from January 30, 1989, to July 14, 1990. Rokhaw then ventured into politics, winning the Palak seat (then known as Tupang constituency) in the 1993 state assembly elections as an independent candidate with MNF support.
Subsequently, Hiphei vacated the Speaker’s post to serve in the Rajya Sabha for two consecutive terms. Rokhaw, however, shifted his allegiance from the MNF to the ruling Congress party, along with five MNF legislators from the southern part of the state. He secured victory once more from the same constituency in 1998, this time as the Congress nominee, but found himself in the opposition after the MNF emerged victorious in that year’s polls.
In 2018, Rokhaw clinched the Palak seat for the third time, this time representing the Congress, following Hiphei’s second term as Assembly Speaker and the MLA from the same seat’s decision to join the BJP in the lead-up to the last assembly elections.