Aizawl, December 4:  The Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) stormed to power in Mizoram by dethroning the Mizo National Front (MNF) bagging 27 seats in the 40-member House on Monday. The MNF won 10 seats, BJP (2) and Congress (1), Election Commission officials said. Prominent ZPM winners include the party's CM face Lalduhoma, who secured the Serchhip seat defeating his MNF rival J Malsawmzuala Vanchhawng by 2,982 votes.

Chief Minister and MNF chief Zoramthanga lost to ZPM's Lalthansanga by 2,101 votes, the Election Commission said. He later called on Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati and submitted his resignation, officials said. In the 2018 assembly elections, the MNF had won 26 seats. This will be the first time in the history of Mizoram that the northeastern state will be ruled by a non-Congress and non-MNF government since its creation in 1987. Mizoram Election 2023 Results: ZPM Defeats MNF, Gets Absolute Majority; Lalduhoma Likely To Be New CM

Nine out of 11 MNF ministers who contested the polls lost. Home Minister Lalchamliana did not contest the elections. Prominent among them are Deputy Chief Minister and MNF candidate Tawnluia who lost to ZPM candidate in Tuichang, Health Minister and MNF candidate R Lalthangliana who was defeated by ZPM's Jeje Lalpekhlua in South Tuipui and Rural Development Minister Laruatkima who lost to ZPM nominee Lalnghinglova Hmar in Aizawl West II, according to the Election Commission.

The 73-year-old ZPM chief Lalduhoma first contested the Mizoram assembly polls on a Congress ticket in 1984, but lost to People's Conference party nominee Lalhmingthanga by a margin of 846 votes. The same year, he contested the Lok Sabha polls as a Congress candidate and was elected unopposed. The ZPM leader resigned as state Congress president and withdrew his primary membership from the party in 1986, after he was accused of conspiring against then chief minister Lal Thanhawla and some cabinet ministers. Lalduhoma, an ex-IPS officer who served as the in-charge of former prime minister Indira Gandhi's security, had earned the dubious distinction of being the first MP to be disqualified under the anti-defection law. Mizoram Next CM: ZPM’s President Lalduhoma, Indira Gandhi’s Security Officer, Likely To Assume Chief Ministerial Posts

He was also disqualified by Mizoram Assembly Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo in 2020, after 12 Mizo National Front (MNF) legislators filed complaints, alleging he defected to the ZPM by actively participating in party activities, though being elected as an independent in the 2018 polls. Besides the Congress, he was also once part of the MNF. He had floated his own party, the Zoram Nationalist Party, and was also instrumental in the formation of the ZPM.

Meanwhile, ZPM working president K Sapdanga said it will stake claim to form the government after holding a consultative meeting of newly elected MLAs and senior party leaders on Tuesday. "A meeting of newly elected MLAs and Val Upa Council, the decision-making body of the party, will be held most likely on Tuesday to decide on claiming stake to form the government in Mizoram," Sapdanga told PTI.

ZPM has emerged winners in Kolasib, Chalfilh, Tawi, Aizawl North-I, Aizawl North-II, Aizawl North-III, Aizawl East I, Aizawl East II, Aizawl West-I, Aizawl West-II, Aizawl West-III, Aizawl South-I, Aizawl South-II, Aizawl South-III, Lengteng, Tuichang, Champhai North, Champai South, Tuikum, Hrangturzo, South Tuipui, Lunglei North, Lunglei East, Lunglei West, Lunglei South, Lawngtlai East and Serchhip seats. The MNF won in Hachhek, Mamik, Tuirial, Dampa, Serlui, Tuivawl, East Tuipui, West Tuipui, Thorang and Tuichawng seats and was leading in one.

Counting of votes, which began at 8 am, was being held in 13 centres. Postal ballots were counted first, and from 8.30 am, the counting for votes polled in the EVMs began. In some of the seats that have a fewer number of voters, only two rounds of counting will be held, but in most of the constituencies, five rounds will be counted. More than 4,000 personnel were involved in the counting process. In all, there are 399 tables for the EVMs and 56 for the counting of postal ballots.

Polling was held on November 7, and over 80 per cent of the state's 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise. A total of 174 candidates, including 18 women, were in the fray. The MNF, ZPM and Congress contested 40 seats each, while the BJP fielded candidates in 23 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which contested the assembly polls here for the first time, fought in four seats. Also, there were 17 Independent candidates.