Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) bagged 27 of the total 40 assembly seats, ousting the Mizo National Front (MNF) in Mizoram. ZPM’s victory lends significance to the ‘Zo unification’ plan, which aims to bring all ethnic communities together under one administrative setup, a demand that became an electoral issue post Manipur violence.

Mizo National Front (MNF) secured 10 seats, and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to put up its best show cornering 2, while Congress, which has ruled the state for a long period, was reduced to just 1, according to the results announced by the Election Commission of India.

In a big blow to the MNF, Chief Minister Zoramthanga lost Aizawl East-I seat to ZPM’s Lalthansanga by 2,101 votes. Under Zoramthanga, the MNF was responsible for ending the Congress’s decade long political hegemony in the 1998 assembly polls. The MNF governed for a decade until Congress staged a comeback in 2008 and retained power in 2013. It came back again in 2018 winning 26 seats in the Christian-dominated Mizoram.

Deputy CM Tawnluia too had to bite the dust, with ZPM candidate W Chhuanawma defeating him in Tuichang. Similarly, Health Minister R Lalthangliana was defeated by ZPM’s Jeje Lalpekhlua in South Tuipui and Rural Development Minister Laruatkima could not match up to ZPM nominee Lalnghinglova Hmar in Aizawl West II.

ZPM’s Chief Minister face Lalduhoma, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, won the Serchhip seat, defeating his MNF rival J Malsawmzuala Vanchhawng by 2,982 votes. “We will stake claim tomorrow. It’s not just me who will form the government. We will sit with the elders and discuss…This is the change people of Mizoram wanted. There are many reasons for this. People were tired of the corruption and dynastic politics,” Lalduhoma said.

BJP’s K. Beichhua clinched the Siaha seat which borders Myanmar, humbling MNF’s HC Lalmalsawma Zasai by 616 votes. BJP’s K Hrahmo won the Palak seat, securing 6,064 votes as against MNF’s KT Rokhaw who got 4,823 votes.

On the BJP’s performance, state party chief Vanlalhmuaka told reporters that the result is “little unexpected” for the party. “Earlier I said that people expected a hung assembly but after seeing the results, it is a little unexpected but we accept it and we respect the people’s mandate. Under the leadership of PM Modi and JP Nadda, BJP is progressing a lot in Mizoram.” he said.

The counting of votes for the 40-member Mizoram assembly, which was to have taken place on Sunday along with four other states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh, was defered to Monday.