Civic victory: On the Mizoram Assembly election results

The Zoram Peoples Movement captured the imagination of change seekers.

The ZPM was successful in projecting itself as a force for change as it got popular members from Mizoram’s civil society to endorse the party, with even some to represent it as candidates. This gave a decisive heft to the party led by former IPS officer and presumptive Chief Minister Lalduhoma. With the ZPM coming to power on its own, it will be easier for it to remain true to its quasi-movement ideals, but it will receive overtures from the BJP (which won two seats) to accommodate the latter in a coalition. The ZPM will have to work out a delicate balance in achieving its goals of clean and independent governance even while seeking to build on the State’s relationship with the Union government. Smaller States, especially those in the North East, have limited avenues of resource mobilisation and are too dependent upon the Union government for their finances. Mizoram, for example, has among the highest Union transfers to revenue receipts ratios in the country — 85.7%. If the ZPM can focus on ways to diversify the economy beyond agriculture, into areas such as eco-friendly tourism, and value-added services leveraging its population’s high literacy rate and education, it can live up to its promise of decisive change in the State.