Mizoram polls: In a first, three women get elected to assembly

Mizoram achieves a historic breakthrough with the simultaneous election of three female candidates, Lalrinpuii & Baryl Vanneihsangi (both ZPM) and Pravo Chakma (MNF), to the state assembly

People waiting to cast their vote for Mizoram assembly elections in Aizawl, Mizoram on 7 November. There was a higher voter turnout among women compared to men. (photo: IANS)
People waiting to cast their vote for Mizoram assembly elections in Aizawl, Mizoram on 7 November. There was a higher voter turnout among women compared to men. (photo: IANS)


Mizoram scripted history on Monday, 4 December as for the first time, three women candidates were elected to the 40-member Assembly in one go.

Poll winner Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) candidate Lalrinpuii won from Lunglei East constituency and her party colleague and television presenter Baryl Vanneihsangi was elected from Aizawl South-3 seat.

Pravo Chakma of the Mizo National Front (MNF) won from West Tuipui seat.

Lalrinpuii and Chakma defeated their male Congress candidates while Baryl Vanneihsangi beat her MNF opponent.

With Christian-dominated (87 per cent) Mizo society being traditionally following by the patriarchal culture, Mizoram's main political parties hardly had nominated women candidates in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

In the 7 November Assembly elections, 174 candidates, including 16 women, fought the polls while in the last Assembly elections in 2018, a total of 209 candidates, including 18 women, contested.

In the 2013 assembly polls, 136 candidates including six women aspirants contested the polls.

None of the women candidates had won in the 2013 or the 2018 polls.

In Mizoram, the first woman elected to the legislature (Mizoram was elevated to Union Territory-status in 1972 with a 30-member legislature) was L. Thanmawii of People's Conference (PC), led by former Chief Minister Brig. T. Sailo (retd), from Serchhip constituency in 1978.

K.Thansiami of the same party was the second woman elected to the Assembly in 1984, followed by Lalhlimpuli of the MNF who was inducted as the first woman minister in 1987 in the government headed by the then Chief Minister Laldenga, a militant leader-turned-politician.

Lalhlimpuii was a minister for 19 months before the government was toppled in the later part of 1988.

In 2014, Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu was elected in the by-election from Hrangturzo Assembly seat and in 2017, she was inducted as a minister of state in the Congress government headed by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who was headed Mizoram government in different terms for more than 22 years.

In the November 7 election, 1.21 per cent more women voters exercised their franchise than their men counterparts. Female voters’ turnout was 81.25 per cent while 80.04 per cent male voters cast their votes across the mountainous state.

In the electoral lists of Mizoram, women always outnumber the male voters. Women are over 51.22 per cent of the total 8,57,063-strong electorate in Mizoram’s latest voters’ list. In all 4,39,026 women voters outnumbered the male electorate of 4,13,062 in the electoral rolls, which were published on October 4 after several month-long special summary revision of voters’ list with reference to October 1 as the qualifying date for inclusion of names.

Of the eleven districts in Mizoram, only in the minority community-inhabited Mamit district is the number of male voters (32,723) higher than their female (32,064) counterparts.

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 8:54 AM