Former IPS officer and Indira Gandhi’s security in-charge Lalduhoma to become Mizoram CM


New Delhi: Lalduhoma, the leader of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), a regional party that emerged victorious in the Mizoram assembly elections, is set to take oath as the Chief Minister of the state today, December 8, 2023. He met Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati at the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl on Wednesday and staked his claim to form the government with the support of 27 MLAs in the 40-member house.

Lalduhoma’s journey from an IPS officer to a CM is a remarkable one, as he has served in various capacities in the police and politics. He has also been associated with the Congress party and the Mizo National Front (MNF), the ruling party that was ousted by ZPM in the recent polls.

A brief profile of Lalduhoma

Lalduhoma was born in 1956 in Serchhip district of Mizoram. He joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1979 and was posted in various states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. He was also the security in-charge of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated in 1984.

In the same year, Lalduhoma contested and won the Lok Sabha election from Mizoram on a Congress ticket. He was the youngest MP in the 8th Lok Sabha. However, he soon developed differences with the Congress leaders of the state, especially the then Chief Minister Laldenga, over the Mizo Accord of 1986, which ended the insurgency in the state.

Lalduhoma was accused of violating the whip of the party and voting against the accord in the Parliament. He was subsequently disqualified under the anti-defection law in 1988, becoming the first Lok Sabha MP to lose his seat on this ground.

After his disqualification, Lalduhoma joined the MNF, the party that led the insurgency and later signed the accord with the Centre. He became the vice-president of the party and contested the 1989 Lok Sabha election, but lost to the Congress candidate. He also contested the 1993 and 1998 assembly elections but failed to win.

In 2003, Lalduhoma left the MNF and formed his party, the Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP), which aimed to promote the interests of the Mizo people. He contested the 2004 Lok Sabha election but lost again. He also contested the 2008 and 2013 assembly elections, but could not win a single seat.

In 2017, Lalduhoma joined hands with five other regional parties to form the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), an alliance that sought to challenge the dominance of the Congress and the MNF in state politics. He contested the 2018 assembly election as an independent candidate and won from two constituencies, Aizawl West-I and Serchhip, defeating the then Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla in the latter.

In 2019, the ZPM was officially registered as a political party by the Election Commission of India (ECI), and the five founding parties merged into one. The ZPM also faced a setback when the largest founding party, the Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC), walked out of the alliance.

However, the ZPM continued to grow in popularity and strength, and emerged as the winner in the 2023 assembly election, securing 27 seats, while the MNF got 10, the BJP 2 and the Congress 1. Lalduhoma retained his Serchhip seat and became the leader of the ZPM legislature party. He also got the support of the BJP and an independent MLA, taking his tally to 30.

Lalduhoma’s vision and challenges

Lalduhoma, who is going to become the 10th Chief Minister of Mizoram, has promised to work for the welfare and development of the state and its people. He has also vowed to uphold the Mizo identity and culture and protect the state from illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Some of the key issues that Lalduhoma and his party have raised in their manifesto are:

  • Implementing the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state to regulate the entry and stay of outsiders
  • Resolving the border disputes with Assam and Tripura
  • Providing free education and health care to the poor and the needy
  • Creating more employment opportunities and skill development programmes for the youth
  • Promoting tourism, agriculture and horticulture in the state
  • Enhancing the power generation and distribution in the state
  • Strengthening the local self-government and decentralising the administration
  • Preserving the environment and the wildlife of the state

Lalduhoma will also have to face some challenges and expectations from his allies and opponents. He will have to maintain a cordial relationship with the BJP, which is his partner at the Centre and the state, but has a different ideology and agenda. He will also have to deal with the Congress and the MNF, which are the main opposition parties in the state and the Centre, respectively.

Lalduhoma will also have to prove his mettle as a leader and an administrator, as he has never held any ministerial post before. He will have to deliver on his promises and fulfil the aspirations of the people, who have given him a historic mandate.