- Lal Thanhawla had contested from Champhai South and Serchhip
- The Congress leader has been ruling Mizoram since December 2008
- The MNF, which has been out of power for 10 years, is hopeful for a win
Five-time Chief Minister of Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla, who contested from Champhai South and Serchhip, has lost both the seats. While he lost Champhai to Mizo National Front's (MNF) TJ Lalnuntluanga, Serchhip was snatched by Zoram People's Movement's (ZPM) chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma.
The 76-year-old Congress leader has been ruling the state since December 2008. In the 2013 assembly elections, he became the chief minister for the fifth time, a record in Mizoram.
The ruling Congress was aiming for a third consecutive victory, but the MNF, the main opposition and an ally of the BJP at the centre, has left the party behind in Mizoram, among the last few states and the only one in the northeast with the Congress. The Congress is ahead in only five.
The MNF, which has been out of power for 10 years, has been optimistic about the win. Their hope is hinged on the fact that the governments change every 10 years in Mizoram.
Assembly Elections 2018 Live Results : Mizoram
"I have a strong belief that I don't need any other party and particularly the BJP to form government," said MNF president and former Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, who ran the state between 1998 and 2008.
When asked about the anti-incumbency wave in Mizoram, Mr Thanhawla had said, "Not at all. Only MNF is feeling anti-incumbency factor. They don't have anything to point fingers at me -- no scandal, no misuse (of funds). How can they say anti-incumbency wind is blowing in Mizoram? It's only their wishful thinking."
The state with a population of about 10 lakh is seen by the BJP as the "final frontier" in the northeast as it is in power in all other states of the region -- either by winning polls or aligning with regional parties.
An aggregate of the exit polls had predicted the MNF notching 18 seats, the Congress 16 and the others six, while not giving the BJP even a single win. The MNF and Congress contested from all the 40 seats in the state, and an optimistic BJP fought in 39.