Monday, November 11, 2013

Mizoram Assembly Elections 2013 With Statistics on the Candidates

I had earlier blogged about Mizoram Assembly Elections 2008. This will be a continuation of the same. The Upcoming Elections are expected in December 4 but could be held earlier on request of the Church. I will be reviewing here the Prospects of the party viz a viz the comments and observations that I have made in 2013. Kindly note the links will be updated as parties announce their candidates and comments are personal opinions based on Public feedback from Facebook, Internet and Interaction from people within the community.

Some Statistics on MLA Candidates in Mizoram: I have done a bit of statistical survey on the MLA candidates, I have included only Congress Party, ZNP and MDA (MNF+MDF+MPC Alliance) and excluded other parties like BJP and NCP have negligible effect in Politics of Mizoram.
Some of the highlights:

  • Age: The Average age of the candidates is 53.4 years with ZNP having the youngest average age of candidates at 50.67 and Congress Party having the oldest average candidates at 56.17 years. In 2008, Congress Party had the youngest average age of candidates and won the election.
  • Wealth : 52% of the candidates have assets of 1 crore or more. Congress party with 24 Crorepati's has the most number of crorepati's followed by MNF party with 23 crorepati's and ZNP with only 14. Mr K Sangthuama with assets of over 25 Crores is the richest candidates. With most of the candidates not having PAN Card, it is possible that some of the candidates may have more assets than reported in affidavit.
  • Education: 80% of the overall candidates are Graduates, 13% PU and 8% who have studied upto 10th. While Education is a great parameter for selection of a candidate. Congress party have a dynamic home minister who have studied upto 10th, a good sports minister who has studied only upto PU.   The MNF Party has the most well qualified candidates with 10% of Candidates who have completed Phd, 30% Post Graduates and 45% Graduates and just 15% upto PU Level, followed by Congress party with 3% Phd, 28 % Post graduates and 53% Graduates, it also has 10% of candidates with educational qualification of only 10th and below. ZNP has the least qualified candidates with 14% of candidates having completed education upto 10th and below, Pre University 16% , Gruaduates 49% and only 22% Post graduates with no Doctorates. In 2008, the Congress party with the most well qualified candidates won the Election. 
  • Please Note: While Age, Wealth and Education may not be factors for winning an Election, it must definitely be one of the factors for selection of candidates. With regards to Age, it is desirable to have young energetic leadership sprinkled with experience to have new ideas and thinking into the administration.  I also noticed that a lot of candidates who do not have very high educational qualification were also candidates, they also were quite wealthy, hence it can be assumed that Wealth is an important factor in Selection. With Regards to Education, MDA has come out with very well qualified candidates with a few of them having completed even upto their Phd level. In the Previous election, MNF party had the most candidates who did not even complete matriculation and now they have come up with very well qualified candidates, hence it can be assumed that it could be one of the important factors for candidate selection. Also, if you look at developed countries, they tend to have very well qualified leaders, for more on this issue, please read my post on Does Educational Qualification Matter in the Mizoram Assembly Elections? Another very important factor for selection  in a Christian State like Mizoram is standing in the Church. One of the Political parties had even mentioned the fact that 6-7 of their Candidates were Church Elders and proudly mentioned that in front of their name. With a majority of the people being regular church going population, Leaders and elders in Church wield immense influence in society and could sway votes, While I do not deny the influence, I have avoided putting up church standings of the candidates due to lack of data.
  • Criminal Cases : There are only 3 candidates with criminal cases against them. Let's hope that the elected candidates at least do not have criminal cases against them.

The Congress party, led by Pu Lal Thanhawla won 80% of the seats in 2008 with a strong mandate to perform, they were fortunate that MNF and the third front (MPC + ZNP) were working together then.  Compared to the previous administration, they had a more highly educated Legislators but let us see what they promised and what they delivered:

1. Tuirial Hydel Project- Even though the Project is not completed, it is in progress and is expected to be completed in 2015. They have initiated other Hydel Projects like Tuivai Hydel Projects, Kolodyne Hydel Projects etc which are yet to start groundwork.
2. Medical College- Work is not yet initiated, the MNF party made major subcontracts to their own party men which left it with substandard Infrastructure. Also application for Medical College is a tedious process requiring approval from MCI etc. However they have completed the building for the Nursing College.
3. Sports - Major Progress has been made, the Rajiv Gandhi stadium is half completed with track and turn already laid out, Lammual  has an Astro turn along with Lunglei Thuamluaia Mual, Plans are being made to have Astro turf in Champhai, Saiha and Lawngtlai football ground. Hawla Indoor stadium, along with Ramhlun and Champhai Indoor Stadiums have also been completed.
4. NLUP - Much Planning has taken place compared to previous New Land Use Policy in previous term, base line surveys have taken place. They have also planned to distribute funds in trenches and not lumpsump. They had also planned cluster development along with trainers in the field. However there is a perception among some people that their plans and policies are not exactly followed and there is a perception that the NLUP is more like a grant of 1 lakh given to some party faithful  iamong the opposition. However given that 50,000 Government employees use almost 60% of government funds in terms of salaries and other allowance, it is commendable that atleast some fund is flowing to rural poor to bridge rural poverty and urban prosperity. It has been commented by many Intellectuals in the state that rather than distributing funds (like Amma of AIADMK distributing grinders) to Farmers, the govt could have better used it by initiating micro credit banking like Grameen Bank in neighbouring Bangladesh and by having better roads.
5. Education- There have been issues with delay in receiving Salary which could be due to fiscal mismanagement. Some grant in aid schools have been closed. They have initiated an Education commission with noble ideals but much is to be implemented. IIMC has established in Mizoram University. NIT is still running in a rented place in Chaltlang waiting for their campus to complete construction near Lengpui Airport. The Law College building is also still in a rented place and construction of campus in Luangmual is yet to be completed.
6. Roads - The Roads are in bad condition, mostly due to Monsoon as well as due to road widening. Poor road conditions would be one of the weak points of the congress government, of which the portfolio is being held by the CM.
7. Railways- The railway line from Bairabi to Sairang is yet to start due to compensation issues.

 Congress 2013 Manifesto Highlights

  1.  Chief Minister's Rural Housing
  2.   Mental Hospital
  3.  Women & Child Development department an
  4.  State referral Hospital 150 - 400- Upgrade to Medical college
  5.  Aizawl Convention Centre
  6.  Cable car (ropeway)
  7.  Lok Ayukta
  8.  Electricity in all Mizoram Village and produce 280 MW
  9.  Mizoram Youth Commission
  10. Upgrade Labour & Employment department  Mizoram Skill Development Society
  11. Universal Elementary Education
  12. Upgrade road and bridges.
  13. High Court

Verdict- The Incumbency is not yet very strong, parties in Mizoram tend to have 2 straight terms. They could be very strong in rural areas due to NLUP.  They are not very popular in urban areas due to unsatisfactory infrastructure like roads. Nevertheless, good progress has been made, The Government has been relatively clean in terms of corruption except 1 or 2 of their Legislators.  99% of the 2008 Congress candidates have been retained, they are likely to lose quite a few number of seats but they could still cross the halfway mark.

Mizoram Democratic Alliance 
An Alliance has been created between Mizo National Front, Mizoram People's Conference and Mara Democratic Front.


1.  Have Mizo Unity . Have International Mizo Convention.
2.  Have Mizo language in 8th Schedule, Fulfill Mizoram Peace Accord.
3.  Decentralization of Power and Good Governance
4.  Promote Socio-Economic Development Programme(SEDP) and Six Basic Needs
5.  Free Laptop for HSLC, HSSLC and  University-toppers
6.  Healthcare Scheme hi tun aia rinngam leh innghahna tlak zawk a tuaithar a ni ang.
7.  Promote  Mizoram Youth Commission and Skill Development with NSDC in .Automobile Engineering 8.   Establish Lok Ayukta/Vigilance Commission

Verdict- Might most likely do better than 2008 Election with more MLA’s. They have a much average younger candidate with a lot of highly educated Legislators.

Zoram Nationalist Party

The ZNP headed by Lal Duhoma, an ex bureaucrat has a lot of hype surrounding the party with a lot of the youth and urban people supporting it. The Charismatic party leader is a good orator but much remains to be seen. It is unlikely that they have the rural reach of Congress or ZNP, but they could play and important part if there is a hung verdict. 

Manifesto Highlights:

  1. Market Security-  Marketing and sale of Farming goods. Purchase vegetables and fruits at minimum price by Government.
  2. Move away from Shifting Jhum Cultivation and encourage Terracing and Organic Farming System, Cultivate land where possible, Mutlti crop agriculture.
  3. Political, Administrative & Financial Autonomy for State govt. Encourage Automous District council in Mizoram.  Support Sinlung Hills Development.  Set up Border Development wing and settle Assam Mizoram border dispute. Promote Unity among the Zo Community .
  4.  Good-governance and legislation of good laws.
  5. High Court
  6. Anti Piracy Act
  7. Hand-holding policy and skill development for workers.
  8. Educational Loan  for Students
  9. UPSC coaching center in Mizoram
  10.  Bank will be guranteer for would be entrepreneurs.
  11. Youth welfare commission
  12. Free Wi-Fi’-in and free Laptop for HSLC Students.
  13. Career Guidance
  14.  Promote Sports Training/coaching Gymnastics to be added to school curriculum
  15. Promote loan for poor and widow
  16. Capacity & Skilled development training.
  17.  Settle Teacher salary issue and teacher Refreshers Course, Teacher Eligibility Test (TET)
  18. Reduce Unecessary govt expenditure and have better fiscal Management, reduce duration of file movement .
  19. Budget and Planning to be achieved reaching the grass root level.
  20. Give importance to Constituency and Village development. Special provision for constituency and village development. m a ni ang.
  21. To better utlize Banks in Mizoram, have a Minister Portolio – Banking Affairs
  22. To Promote Investment from Central Governments, MNC’s, Corporates with use of Consultancy firms.
  23. Fix pay anamolities with 7th Pay Comission.
  24. LOK AYUKTA with power to investigate CM
  25. Reconciliation Commission or
  26. Committee to sort our corruption cases.
  27.  Transparency and improvement in work quality. Sanction order to be informed to Public. Public Servants to provide service in time bound manner.
  28. The Chief Minister will not hold any major portfolio but support other Ministers. Public apperance as Chief gues in functions to be reduced to focus more time in work.
  29. Soil Testing
  30. Crop Insuarance
  31. Build link Road and Cold storage.
  32. Have a separate Food Processing department for Meat, Vegetables and Fruits.
  33.  Develop Labour & Employment Department. Review Building and other Construction
  34. Workers Welfare and  Social Security.
  35. Review Healthcare and have special consideration for insurance cover for poor people of society for illness such as cancer, high bloog sugar etc.
  36. Improve infrastructer in Hospitals and improve skills of healthcare workers.
  37. Regional Development Centre in Lunglei
  38. Monitoring leh Social Audit1
  39. Public Private Partnership (PPP)  Ecology Conservation.
  40. Good Quality of Roads
  41. Good Water Supply
  42. Use Central Govt Tourism Development
  43. Driving School
  44. Review Vehicle Insurance System and Lifetime Tax
  45. Improve Traffic conditions with Fyovers and new City Plan.
  46. Promote Industries to promote self sufficiency in terms of meat, vegetables and handloom Production.
  47.  Appoint Parliamentary Secretary, Advisor, Board Chairman based on expertise and skill and not political affliation. Mizoram Journalist Welfare Fund
  48. Agricultural Credit Cooperative Society
  49. Review  Land Reforms without affecting marginalized.
  50. Promote  Border Trade & Commerce. Export Agriculture products and Promote investment from big Corporates. Make use of Look East Policy. Utilize Public Private Partnership (PPP)
  51. Improve infrastructure of Public Library
  52. Mizo Regiment
  53.  Advocate for Mizo language to be added to recognized language of India.
  54. NLUP to be given lump sum – ie Rs 1 lakh


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