Most people fight elections for power, some for name but Lalthlamuani, Mizoram’s first woman candidate, is contesting for the state’s lone Lok Sabha seat because God wants her to do so.
“Because God is telling me to contest and save the identity of my community,” the 63-year-old activist, who filed her nomination papers, told DH over the phone from Aizawl, Mizoram's capital, on Tuesday. She filed her nomination papers on Monday as an Independent candidate.
Lalthlamuani, a Class X pass-out, has been leading Chhinlung Israel People’s Convention, an NGO fighting to unite people belonging to the Chhinlung Israel tribe who are scattered in the Northeast, neighbouring Myanmar and Bangladesh.
According to her NGO, Chhinglung Israel are the descendants of a lost tribe in Israel and live mainly in Chin, Matu, Mire, Khumi and Arakan region in Myanmar, Chittagong Hill Tracts and plains in Bangladesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Assam and Tripura in India.
“We, the Mizos, are the lost tribe of Israel and we need our voice to be heard at the Centre in India,” she said about her agenda if elected to power.
Six candidates are in the fray for the only Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram, including a sports journalist, a former Navy sailor and a former director general of Doordarshan.
The Assembly elections held in November last year saw the candidature of 15 women, but none were elected. But this is the first time a woman candidate is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in the state, which has around 20,000 more women voters than men.
“I would also like to take this opportunity and throw a challenge to all women... if a simple and less educated woman like me can fight for the Lok Sabha elections, the more educated and younger women can surely do it and bring about change. So I humbly request everyone in the name of the Lord to cast their vote for me,” Lalthlamuani said.
The ruling Mizo National Front has fielded C Lalrosanga, (former Doordarshan director general), the Congress-Zoram People’s Movement combine's candidate is Lalnghinglova Hmar, a sports journalist while Nirupam Chakma has filed his nomination as the BJP candidate.
The People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram, an anti-corruption watchdog-turned-political party has fielded TBC Lalvenchuunga, a former Navy sailor.
CL Ruala of Congress is the sitting MP. Elections for the Lok Sabha seat will be held on April 11.