Meet 63-year-old Lalthlamuani, Mizoram’s first woman candidate among 6 in fray for lone seat
Aizawl, Mar 29: For the first time in the history, this time the Lok Sabha elections 2019 will see a woman candidate from Mizoram's lone parliamentary constituency. A 63-year-old Lalthlamuani, a Jew, will be contesting as an Independent candidate against five male rivals in the constituency reserved for scheduled tribes (ST).
In Mizoram's patriarchal society, the participation of women in politics is still minimal despite a high literacy rate and women playing key roles in almost all walks of life.
Lalthlamuani, a school dropout, currently heads Chhinlung Israel People's Convention, an NGO fighting to unite people belonging to the Chhinlung Israel tribe, who are scattered in the Northeast.
Lalthlamuani, a grandmother of five, is also a member of the Bnei Menashe community who claim to be descendants of the tribe and believe that they are one of the 'ten lost tribes of Israel'. Her main poll agenda is to pursue a memorandum submitted to the United Nations, seeking recognition of the Mizo Jewish community as the lost tribe of Israel.
She had earlier contested the Aizawl South-I constituency during assembly polls in 2018 as well but secured just 69 votes.
Ever since 1972, when the tiny tribal state elected its first MP, only one woman candidate has so far contested the parliamentary polls.
The state has so far seen only two women minister in 32 years. First was Lalhimpuii of Mizo National Front (MNF), who was elected in 1987 and the second women minister was Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, who was inducted in the erstwhile Lal Thanhawla's cabinet in 2014.
Eighty-three-year-old CL Ruala of the Congress is the sitting MP from the seat.
Meanwhile, calling Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre "fake" as well as "hopeless", 17 BJP leaders of Mizoram unit, including former state president Khawvelthanga Ralte and three ex-MLA candidates, quit the saffron party on Thursday.
The mass resignation of BJP leaders is likely to have an impact on the BJP's prospect as the party has no strong base.
Mizoram, which has an electorate of 7,84,405, goes to the polls on April 11. Ironically, female voters outnumber their male counterparts by 20,417.