Aizawl, May 2 (PTI) The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) on Sunday suffered a humiliating defeat in the bypoll to the Serchhip assembly seat as arch-rival ZPM's nominee Lalduhoma, whose disqualification necessitated the by- election, retained the seat by a landslide margin.
Lalduhoma secured 8,269 votes, which is 51 per cent of the total 16,595 votes polled and defeated his nearest opponent Vanlalzawma of the MNF by a margin of 3,310 votes.
Vanlalzawma bagged 5,319 votes, and Congress nominee PC Laltlansanga got 2,604 votes. BJP candidate Lalhriatrenga Chhangte secured 250 votes.
The counting of votes began at 8 am amid strict COVID protocols.
The bypoll, held on April 17, saw over 83 per cent turnout.
Lalduhoma, who defeated then chief minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress in 2018 assembly polls, was disqualified by Speaker Lalrinliana Sailo in November last year under the anti-defection law, following complaints filed by 12 ruling party legislators.
Speaking to reporters, Lalduhoma said the mandate was a 'miracle' in the political history of Mizoram as opposition parties hardly won an assembly bypoll in the state in the past.
Usually, assembly a by-election is considered 'safe' for the ruling party, he said.
The IPS officer-turned-politician said it was a justice being brought to him by the people.
'It is not my own victory but the people of Serchhip and our party,' said Lalduhoma.
He said the bypoll result will have an impact on the party's prospect in the next assembly polls in 2023.
He promised to do his best to make Serchhip the most developed constituency in the state.
Lalduhoma is the first ZPM legislator to win on the party's symbol after its inception in 2017. In the 2018 assembly elections, the ZPM candidates fought as Independents and six of them won.
In the 40-member assembly, the MNF has 27 members, Congress has five MLAs and the BJP has one member, besides the ZPM MLAs. PTI CORR SOM SOM