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CONSTITUENCY PROFILE: SERCHHIP

 H.C. Vanlalruata

Aizawl: Serchhip assembly constituency is where the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader and the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate Lalduhoma won in the last Mizoram Assembly elections held on November 28, 2018.

Lalduhoma and 7 other independent candidates won the polls but the ZPM, formed in 2017 was yet to be registered during the elections.

Knowing this, 12 legislators of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) filed complaints to the Assembly Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo saying that though elected as an independent, Lalduhoma had been acting like a leader of the ZPM and attached documents to prove so.

Sailo disqualified him in November 2020, after due consideration. However, in the by-election that followed in early 2021, Lalduhoma was re-elected with a thumping majority, receiving votes exceeding the votes secured by all his rivals added together, which helped in increasing the political wave of the ZPM across the state.

Serchhip assembly constituency is situated in the central part of Mizoram and has been regarded as the stronghold of the Congress party since Mizoram attained union territory status with 30-member assembly in 1972.

The first legislator to be elected from this constituency was former minister and speaker Vaivenga, who won in 1972 on Mizo Union (MU) ticket, but the MU merged with the Congress after two years.

During the heydays of People’s Conference (PC) led by former Chief Minister Brig. T. Sailo, the PC won the seat in 1978 and again in 1979. The first government of Sailo was toppled by defections in the party and election again held

in 1979. L. Thanmawii of PC, the first woman elected to the state assembly won from Serchhip seat in 1978 while Bualhranga also PC won in 1979 elections.

The Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) then led by the new President Lal Thanhawla bounced back to power in 1984 with ‘peace’ as its main plank and Lal Thanhawla won from Serchhip and became Chief Minister for the

first time.

Except in 1998 when retired engineer K. Thangzuala of the MNF won from this prestigious constituency, it was Lal Thanhawla who won all the time but lost to Lalduhoma in 2018 assembly polls.

Lalduhoma is trying to retain Serchhip seat in the coming assembly elections to be held on November 7.

Though a popular leader he may not be able to garner the sympathy votes like he did during the 2021 by-polls as he is facing tough contest from two corners.

The MNF fielded journalist-turned young politician J. Malsawmzuala Vanchhawng, a popular television anchor and journalist who had worked for Doordarshan Kendra in Aizawl and a popular local television channel called ZONET.

Vanchhawng hailed from Thenzawl town, the second largest town in the constituency next only to Serchhip town and being a novice politician, having no skeletons in his closet yet.

Congress is fielding R. Vanlaltluanga, who recently joined the grand old party after being denied ticket by the MNF. Vanlaltluanga also hailed from Thenzawl town.

There comes K. Vanlalruati of the saffron party whose candidature was announced only on October 18, two days before the last date of filing nominations. She did not only start late, but she is the lone woman nominee from the constituency.

However, with the backing of the powerful central government, the BJP, which has the largest number of party members and her own reputation as fiery fighter, she has been making inroads in the seat. Being a state BJP leader in-charge of the constituency earlier, she has first hand knowledge of the constituency.

She informs the people in the constituency, if elected she will usher in massive developments which could not be accomplished by the former Chief Minister who won five times from the seat and the present incumbent who is ther Chief Ministerial candidate of the ZPM.

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