Amidst the Congress comeback in India’s Hindi heartland and myriad analyses surrounding it, the results from its last bastion in the Northeast seems to have largely escaped attention. With the Congress loss in Mizoram, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fulfilled its oft-repeated goal of a “Congress-Mukt Northeast”. Although the BJP’s gains are incremental in the state, it opened its account with a solitary win to register close to eight percent vote share in the overwhelmingly Christian-majority state.
Congress won merely 5 seats, a loss of 29 seats from 2013. But the party would take heart in the fact that its vote share hasn’t fallen proportionately. The Mizoram National Front (MNF) led by rebel leader Zoramthanga was back in power in the state riding on the anti-incumbency wave. A third force—Zoram people’s Movement (ZPM)—has also emerged in the election in the bipolar polity of Mizoram. The ZPM, formed barely a year before the elections, had their candidates contesting as independents winning 8 seats and coming second in another 9 seats to make a huge impact on the elections—with a vote share of 23%.