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Congress wins Mizoram bypoll
Linda Chhakchhuak
 AIZAWL, March 1 – Indian National Congress candidate Dr Ngurdingliana won the byelection to Chalfilh Assembly seat yesterday defeating his nearest rival Lalvenhima Hmar of the Mizo National Front by a margin of 2,834 votes.

 This is seen as a big margin in the sparsely populated hill State. The total votes polled was 13,703. Hmar polled 4,171 votes. The Congress is jubilant as they are taking the verdict as a good omen for the coming State elections to be held later this year.

Regarded as ‘controversial’, activists for clean elections had called on the voters to reject Dr Ngura for participating in the fake kidnapping of candidates in the 2003 general elections which had shocked the State then.

However, his convincing win seems to prove that the appeal did not bother the voters of Chalfilh constituency. Dr Ngura said that the voters have shown that they will not be influenced by any other factors but will vote for the people who can help them build up a better future. He thanked the people of the constituency for putting their trust in him.

Congress detractors, however, point out that the Congress could keep the seat because they used the New Land Use Policy (NLUP) to buy votes from the poor people of the constituency. They said that only Congress members are given subsidies under the NLUP scheme which was proved so by a much discussed study done by the influential Presbyterian Church Synod.

Dr Ngura is the son of former Congress Minister and former Speaker H Thansanga who represented the constituency.

Of significance was the poor show at the hustings by the former civil service officer and president of the Mizoram People’s Conference, Lalhmangaiha Sailo. He polled 1,274 votes dashing the hopes of the MPC, the party founded by his father, Brig Thenphunga Sailo.

The total no of candidates was seven. Vote line up Dr Ngurdingliana Congress - 7005. Lalvenhima Hmar, MNF - 4171. Lalhmangaiha Sailo, MPC - 1274. C. Lalchhandama, ZNP - 976. R. Lalrohlua, Independent - 205. C. Ramkinlova, BJP - 58. DK Thanga, LJP - 14.

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