Congress names candidates for Mizoram polls

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Aizawl, Nov 7(UNI) The Indian National Congress today announced the names of their candidates for the December 2 Mizoram Assembly elections.

Central Congress leader Major Ved Prakash announced the names of the party's official candidates before a huge crowd at the Congress Bhavan here.

Two seats-- Lawngtlai West and South Tuipui-- were left unannounced today due to 'some technical problems.' However, it is clear that Dr L H Chhuanawma, a lecturer in the Pachhunga University College, will contest from Lawngtlai West.

Former chief minister and PCC chief Lal Thanhawla will contest from his traditional Serchhip constituency against MNF's R Lalhnuna and United Democratic Alliance's C Lalramzauva. Thanhawla is likely to contest too from South Tuipui though it is yet to be officially declared.

Candidates for the two constituencies would be declared very shortly, Thanhawla said.

Congress has one lady candidate Mrs Zothankimi, who will contest from Aizawl West-II.

All the sitting MLAs, except Mr Saikapthianga and Mr Liansuama, reappeared in the candidates' list. The duo were elected on Congress tickets in the 2003 elections, but they left the party mid-term to form the Mizoram Congress Party (MCP), and got re-elected with ruling MNF support in by-elections in 2006. They came back to the parent party a few months back with their leader and former Congress finance minister J Lalsangzuala. Now, only John Rotluangliana, a former Congress minister figured in the candidates' list.

There are 18 new faces among the Congress candidates and no come-back of Congress veteran politicians like the ruling Mizo National Front.

Andrew Lalherliana, who had resigned as Zoram Nationalist Party legislator to join the Congress a few months back, will contest on Congress ticket from Aizawl West-I opposite his former boss and ZNP supremo Lalduhoma, UDA's deputy chief ministerial candidate.

Congress sources said AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would come to Mizoram for election campaigns during the end of November.

Congress had ruled Mizoram from 1984 to 1986 when Mizoram became a state after the banned MNF signed peace accord with Delhi. It toppled Laldenga-led MNF ministry in 1988 leading to imposition of President's Rule.

In the 1989 elections, Congress came back to power and ruled the state until it was defeated by MNF-MPC combined force in the 1998 elections to remain the largest opposition party till today.

UNI ZS KK DB1729

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