Mizo National Front
|Mizo National Front|
|Headquarters||Zarkawt, Aizawl, Mizoram|
|Youth wing||Mizo National Youth Front|
|Women's wing||Mizo National Women Front|
|Political position||Centre-left to centre|
|ECI Status||State Party|
|Alliance||National Democratic Alliance|
|Seats in Lok Sabha|
|Seats in Rajya Sabha|
|Seats in the Legislative Assembly|
|Politics of India
Mizo National Front (MNF) is a regional political party in Mizoram, India. MNF emerged from the Mizo National Famine Front, which was formed by Pu Laldenga to protest against the inaction of the Indian central government towards the famine situation in the Mizo areas of the Assam state in 1959. It staged a major uprising in 1966, followed by years of underground activities. In 1986, it signed the Mizo Accord with the Government of India, renouncing secession and violence.
MNF won elections and formed state government in Mizoram twice, first under Laldenga (1986–88) and then under Zoramthanga (1998–2008). In 2008, it suffered a strong incumbency wave managed to win only 3 seats in the elections.
In 1959, Mizo Hills was devastated by a great famine known in Mizo history as 'Mautam'. The cause of the famine was attributed to flowering of bamboos which consequently resulted in rat population boom in large numbers. After eating up bamboos seeds, the rats turned towards crops and infested the huts and houses and became a plaque to the Villages. The havoc created by the rats was terrible and very little of the grain was harvested. For sustenance, many Mizos had to collect roots and leaves from the jungles while a considerable number died of starvation. Earlier in 1955, Mizo Cultural Society was formed and Laldenga was its Secretary. In March 1960, the name of the Mizo Cultural Society was changed to 'Mautam front'. During the famine of 1959–1960, this society took lead in demanding relief and managed to attract the attention of all sections of the people. In September 1960, the Society adopted the name Mizo National Famine Front (MNFF). The MNFF gained considerable popularity as a large number of Mizo Youth assisted in transporting rice and other essential commodities to interior villages.
The Mizo National Famine Front, which was originally formed to help ease the immense sufferings of the people during the severe Mautam Famine in Mizoram, was converted into Mizo National Front (MNF) on October 22, 1961. The ways in which the authority of the day handled the famine left the people disillusioned. The wave of secessionist and armed insurrection was running high among the Mizos. In 1966, MNF led a major uprising against the government, but failed to gain administrative control of the Mizo district. The secessionist movement held on for about two decades. During that time, they invaded Burma claiming chin state and Tahan belong to Mizoram since most of the resident in Tahan are Mizo.
This chapter of insurgency finally came to a close with the signing of the Mizoram Peace Accord on June 30, 1986 between the underground government of the Mizo National Front and the Government of India. Under the terms of the peace accord, Mizoram was granted statehood in February 1987. Laldenga became Chief Minister, but soon lost power due to defections in the party.
Former guerrilla leader Pu Zoramthanga became party leader following the death of Laldenga in 1990. In 1998 and 2003 MNF won the state assembly elections, and Pu Zoramthanga was chief minister for 10 years. In the 2003 elections MNF won 21 out of 40 seats in the state assembly, and got 132 505 votes (31,66%). MNF was part of the National Democratic Alliance, but later withdrew in 2007. Officers as of 2007 were:
- President: Pu Zoramthanga
- Vice President: Pu Tawnluia
- Treasurer: Pu Tlanghmingthanga
The MNF suffered a heavy defeat in the 2008 state assembly elections, winning only 3 of the 40 seats, and the Indian National Congress swept to power. They were able to secure only 30.65% votes in the state. The party has came out very strongly against idol-worship
Role in the national elections
In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections MNF won the only seat of Mizoram. The MNF candidate Pu Vanlalzawma got 182 864 votes (52,46%). MNF abstained in the vote of confidence on 22 July 2008 to maintain distance from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and United Progressive Alliance.
- Mizo CM under attack over 'Hindu celebration' Hindustan Times – October 18, 2011
- "List of Political Parties and Election Symbols main Notification Dated 18.01.2013" (PDF). India: Election Commission of India. 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "2008 Elections Results" (PDF). ECI. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Mizo National Front heat on Mizoram CM over 'idol worship' Times of India – April 27, 2013
- "Triangular contest for lone Mizoram seat". Indian Express. 2014-03-18.