» Election » 20 ex-government servants in fray in Mizoram

20 ex-government servants in fray in Mizoram

By G Vinayak in Aizawl
Last updated on: November 18, 2003 00:35 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

In tiny Mizoram, former army officials and bureaucrats don't fade away after they attain the age of superannuation; they simply join politics.

They put their experience to good use once they join or float their own parties.

Also see: Our complete election coverage

Brigadier T Sailo (retd), who commanded the prestigious 190 (Korea) Brigade in the army before launching his own political party, the People's Conference, in the late 1970s was the trendsetter.

Several officials of the army, the Indian Administration Service and the Indian Police Service have followed in his footsteps in the past decade.

Brig Sailo was chief minister twice -- for five months in 1978 and then for a full term between 1979 and 1984.

Another former army officer, Colonel L Sailo, entered politics and got elected on a Mizo People's Conference ticket in 1998 from Aizawl West I constituency.

This election there are also two former chief secretaries who want to enter the 40-member assembly.

The debonair Lalkhama, a 1963 cadre IAS officer, was chief secretary in the 1980s. He joined politics immediately after retiring from service in 1993, contested on a Mizo National Front ticket from Aizawl West 1 constituency and, to the surprise of his detractors, romped to victory.

He later switched allegiance to the Congress, only to lose the 1998 election to the North Venlaiphai seat. This time, too, he will contest the same seat on a Congress ticket.

His former colleague Lalfakzuala, who was the top bureaucrat in the state between 1993 and 1999, has opted to compete for the Aizawl West 2 seat on an MPC ticket. His main rival is Lalrinchhana, a minister in the Zoramthanga government.

K Thangzuala, who joined politics after retiring as the chief engineer of the public works department, had humbled Congress stalwart and former chief minister Lalthanhawla in Serchip constituency in the last election.

He has been denied an MNF ticket this time and is vying for the Aizawl North 2 seat as an independent.

His rival is another former IAS officer, Liansailova. The ex-member of the Mizoram Public Service Commission has been given a Congress ticket.

Former IPS officer Lalduhawma, who was former prime minister Indira Gandhi's security officer, has reinvented himself as the president of the nascent Zoram Nationalist Party and decided to take on Lalthanmawia, a former deputy commissioner of Aizawl and the MPC nominee for the Aizawl North 1 seat.

Other former government officers in the fray are Clement Lalrema, a retired engineer of the Mizoram State Electricity Board, and B Thangdailova, who used to be the director of health services.

Lalrema has chosen to compete for the Ngopa seat, while debutant Thangdailova is a nominee for the Khwbung seat.

Liansuma, a former Mizoram Civil Service officer, rounds off the list. He is a contender for the Phuldengsei seat. According to the election office, as many as 20 retired bureaucrats, police officials and engineers are in the race.

Special: Why Mizoram is Lyngdoh's favourite state


Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
G Vinayak in Aizawl