In a stunning political upset, the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) has emerged victorious in Mizoram, ousting the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and marking a significant shift in the Northeastern state’s political landscape. Led by former IPS officer Lalduhoma, the ZPM’s success can be attributed to its strategic focus on young voters and a commitment to combating corruption and empowering the youth.
Rise of Zoram People’s Movement:
Mizoram, a predominantly Christian state, witnessed a political transformation as the ZPM, formed in 2018 as a coalition of six regional parties, secured a resounding victory in the recent assembly elections. The party’s electoral debut in 2018 saw them win 8 out of 40 seats, and in the 2023 elections, they clinched 27 seats, establishing themselves as a dominant force in the state. One of the key factors contributing to ZPM’s triumph was its emphasis on engaging the youth. With a staggering 70 percent of the slightly over 8 lakh voters under the age of 35, the party strategically fielded young candidates against experienced veterans from the ruling MNF and Congress party. The party’s main agenda centred around cracking down on corruption and promoting youth empowerment. Political analysts attribute ZPM’s success to its early groundwork and effective use of technology, particularly through social media platforms. By connecting with young voters on issues such as employment opportunities and aligning with national development goals, ZPM built a strong rapport, setting the stage for their electoral victory.
The fall of MNF & Congress
In a dramatic turn of events, three-time Chief Minister Zoramthanga, head of the MNF, lost his seat to Lalthansanga of ZPM in Aizawl East 1 by a margin of over 2100 votes. Accepting the people’s verdict, Zoramthanga tendered his resignation, acknowledging dissatisfaction with his government’s performance. The ruling MNF managed to secure victory in only 10 seats, resulting in the resignation of key party figures, including the outgoing Chief Minister.
But for the newly elected Chief Minister, Lalduhoma faces a daunting task ahead as he steps into office, encountering a myriad of challenges from the outset. Mizoram’s financial condition presents a significant obstacle, with the state grappling with a weakened fiscal foundation. Additionally, the prevalence of drug-related issues among the youth poses a pressing concern that demands urgent attention. Balancing these complex issues while meeting the high expectations of the people places the new government in a precarious position, requiring strategic and immediate actions to address both the financial and social challenges at hand. Taking oath on December 8th, CM Lalduhoma pledged to establish a harmonious relationship with the Narendra Modi-led Union government for the development of Mizoram. He further assured that major corruption cases would be promptly handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), emphasising the party’s commitment to fulfilling election promises, including supporting farmers through Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their products. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also saw an increase in its tally, securing two seats in the Christian-majority state. The party leadership in Mizoram believes that they are making enroute to the political arena of the christian majority state. In contrast, the Congress party, which had historically ruled the state, faced a complete washout, dwindling to a single MLA party in Mizoram. This outcome further diminished the Congress party’s presence in the Northeast. As Mizoram ushers in this new political era under the Zoram People’s Movement, all eyes are on CM Lalduhoma and his team to deliver on their promises and steer the state towards progress and development.