Lal Thanhawla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lal Thanhawla
Lal Thanhawla.jpg
3rd Chief Minister of Mizoram
In office
11 December 2008 – 14 December 2018
GovernorMadan Mohan Lakhera
Vakkom Purushothaman
Kamla Beniwal
Vinod Kumar Duggal (Additional Charge)
Krishan Kant Paul
Aziz Qureshi
Keshari Nath Tripathi (Additional Charge)
Nirbhay Sharma
Kummanam Rajasekharan
Preceded byZoramthanga
Succeeded byZoramthanga
In office
24 January 1989 – 3 December 1998
GovernorHiteswar Saikia
K. V. Krishna Rao (Additional Charge)
Williamson A. Sangma
Swaraj Kaushal
Paty Ripple Kyndiah
Dr. A. P. Mukherjee
A. Padmanabhan
Preceded byPresident's rule
Succeeded byZoramthanga
In office
5 May 1984 – 20 August 1986
Lieutenant GovernorH. S. Dubey
Preceded byT. Sailo
Succeeded byLaldenga
Personal details
Born (1938-05-19) 19 May 1938 (age 83)
Aizawl, Assam Province, British India
(now in Mizoram, India)
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Lal Riliani
ChildrenZauva Sailo (L)
Lal Thankhumi
ResidenceZarkawt, Aizawl, Mizoram
Alma materPachhunga University College

Lal Thanhawla (born 19 May 1938[1][2] or 1942[3][4]) is an Indian politician and former Chief Minister of Mizoram, belonging to the Indian National Congress party. He holds the record for longest-serving Chief Minister of Mizoram, occupying the position for five terms: 1984 to 1986, 1989 to 1993, 1993 to 1998, 2008 to 2013, and 2013 to 2018.[3][5] He has been the President of the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee since 1973. His electoral constituencies are Serchhip and Hrangturzo. He successfully contested the Mizoram Legislative Assembly elections nine times, in 1978, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2003, 2008, and 2013.[6]

Early life[edit]

Lal Thanhawla is the son of Hmartawnphunga Sailo and Lalsawmliani Chawngthu. He completed matriculation in 1958. He passed his intermediate examination (higher secondary) in arts in 1961. Thereafter, he studied BA at Pachhunga University College (then Aijal College), which was then affiliated to Gauhati University. He graduated in 1964.[4][7]


Lal Thanhawla started his career as Recorder in the office of Inspector of Schools under the Mizoram District Council, which was in turn under the Government of Assam. After that, he joined the Assam Co-operative Apex Bank as Assistant. In 1966, he joined the underground movement called Mizo National Front (MNF) as Foreign Secretary. He was captured and imprisoned at Silchar jail. He was released in 1967 and joined the Indian National Congress party. He was immediately appointed to the Chief Organiser of the Aizawl District Congress Committee. In 1973 he was elected President of the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee, and continued to win the presidency in every election till date. In 1978 and 1979 he was elected as a Legislator in Union Territory Elections. In 1984, under his leadership, the Congress party swept the state and he became the Chief Minister. In 1986, when the Mizoram Peace Accord was signed between India and MNF, he stepped down from his office to make way for Laldenga, the leader of MNF, to become the Chief Minister. This was part of the negotiation and settlement of the accord, and he was designated Deputy Chief Minister. Then Mizoram was declared a full state of India. In the first Mizoram Legislative Assembly election held in 1987, he was elected and after Laldenga was toppled through defections, became the Chief Minister in 1988. He continued the office after being re-elected in the 1989 and 1993 elections. In 1998 he lost the election. He eventually reclaimed in the 2003 elections.[7][8][9][10]

In the 2013 Mizoram Assembly Elections, Thanhawla led the ruling Congress party to a victory winning 34 seats in the 40-member legislative assembly, two seats more than in the 2008 election. The major opposition party Mizo National Front (MNF) barely won five seats, while Mizoram People's Conference (MPC) won just one seat. In 2018 Mizoram Assembly Elections, he lost the election for the second time.[3][11]

Other activities[edit]

Lal Thanhawla is an actively involved in sports and voluntary services. Among his major contributions are as[6][9]

  • Founder President of Mizoram Football Association
  • Founder President of Mizoram Sports Association
  • Founder President of Mizoram Hockey Association
  • Founder Secretary of Mizoram Boxing Association
  • Founder Secretary of Aijal Amateur Athletic Club
  • Founder President of Mizoram Olympic Association
  • Former President of Indian Olympic Association
  • Chairman of North East Olympic Commission
  • Founder President of Mizoram Journalists Association
  • Founder editor of Mizo Aw (a daily newspaper) and Remna Palai (INC party daily news)
  • Founder of Young Mizo Association at Zarkawt
  • Founder Secretary of Aizawl Dramatic & Cultural Society

In addition he had served as Secretary of Central Information Forum; Chairman of Literacy Committee, National Development Council of India; Member of the 9th Finance Commission of India; and Member of the Shillong Club Ltd. and Country Club of India.

Award and recognition[edit]

  • National Citizen Award in 1994
  • Mother Teresa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009
  • Lalthanhawla Higher Secondary School, established in 2011 at Serchhip was named in his honor[12][13]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) in 2014.[14]
  • A sport complex at Pitarte Tlang, Republic Vengthlang, Aizawl, was inaugurated in 2012 as Hawla Indoor Stadium.[15]
  • A public hall at Treasury Square, Aizawl, was inaugurated in 2015 as "Lal Thanhawla Auditorium".[16]
  • Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) by Serampore College in 2019.[17]


Graft case[edit]

In 1995, officials of the Income Tax Department investigated a case of tax evasion by the Baid group, which operated a travel agency Capital Travels (Capital Tours (India) Pvt. Ltd.), in northeast India. On 13 September, they found a link of swindling government funds between Jodhraj Baid, head of the Baid group operating in Mizoram, Lal Thanhawla, the Chief Minister, and Santosh Mohan Dev, the Union Minister.[18][19] Based on this evidence, two social workers, Zairema and Bualhranga filed a public interest litigation to the Supreme Court of India in 1996.[20][21] The case file accused Thanhawla with Baid and Pushpa Sharma, an accountant of Baid, of corruption arising from disproportionate income and assets. Investigation was carried out by the anti-corruption wing of the Mizoram police from 1998,[19] and P. Singthanga, Special Judge of the Prevention of Corruption Act, was appointed as the prosecutor.[22] On 25 April 2003, a chargesheet was submitted by John Neihlaia, Commandant of the First Battalion of the Mizoram Armed Police, upon which the court ordered for an arrest. But Thanhawla had already obtained anticipatory bail in the previous December, so evaded jail. Baid and Sharma were detained in jail for a day until they got the bail. The first trial held in August 2003 found evidence of corruption.[23]

In June 2006, Jodhraj Baid submitted a petition to Gauhati High Court on the incompetency of Singthanga, and subsequently to the Supreme Court, both of which dismissed the petitions.[22] Thanhawla appeared before Singthanga in September and was again charge-sheeted.[19] After several court hearings, T. Saikunga, special judge of a District and Sessions Court, dissolved Thanhawla's case on 26 February 2010 on the grounds that "there was no clear evidence" of money laundering.[20]

Declaration case[edit]

When Lal Thanhawla filed candidature for the 2013 Mizoram Legislative Assembly from two constituencies, Serchhip and Champhai South, in which he failed to declare an immovable property.[24] As his Chief Minister term was closing in 2018, his nomination papers were re-examined by Lalhriatrenga Chhangte, Deputy Controller of Mines at Indian Bureau of Mines in Kolkata, who knew that Thanhawla owns a plot of land in Kolkata, which did not appear in the property declaration.[25] By then Thanhawla had been constructing a building in that land. Chhangte submitted corruption charges of Thanhawla under Section 125 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, on 17 January 2018 to the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Serchhip Disctrict.[26] The accusation also included inconsistent date of birth declared by Thanhawla in the election papers.[27] Thanhawla made excuses and did not appear before the court in the first two summons in March and April 2018,[28] as his counsel Remsanga Nghaka reported "personal problems."[29] Chhangte also filed a case to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Mizoram Police on 20 May 2018. The Vigilance Department, which was under Thanhawla, failed to issue permission for investigation.[25]

On his first appearance before the court on 26 May, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Lalngaihmawia Zote acquitted Thanhawla of the age issue as the period of verification for election had lapsed.[27][30] On the case of land ownership, he claimed that it was allotted to him by the Bengal government as a gift when the Kolkota New Town was expanded in 2011, and that ownership deeds were still officially uncertain in 2013 due to legal issues in that area.[31] He then evaded several court summons under various excuses.[25] The next year on 3 October 2019, he appeared before the court which gave a him a benefit of doubt for the ownership procedures and dismissed the case on account of lack of "evidence of mens rea." The court however declared that he was the legal owner of the land.[31]


  1. ^ PTI (11 December 2018). "Lal Thanhawla - the CM who wanted to step aside". The Week. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  2. ^ ToMZ (20 May 2018). "Lal Thanhawla turns 80 - Birthday of Lalthanhawla". TIMES OF MIZORAM. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Talukdar, Sushanta (14 December 2013). "Lal Thanhawla sworn in as Mizoram Chief Minister". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Pu Lalthanhawla Biography - About family, political life, awards won, history". Elections in India. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  5. ^ PTI (14 December 2013). "Lal Thanhawla sworn in as Mizoram CM". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "About Government - Chief Minister: PU LALTHANHAWLA (11.12.2008 - )". National Informatics Centre, Mizoram State Centre. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Pu Lal Thanhawla". Chief Minister's Office. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  8. ^ Attre, Neha (9 November 2013). "Mizoram CM candidate profile - Lal Thanhawla". ZeeNews. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b IANS (9 December 2013). "Lal Thanhawla becomes Mizoram CM for record fifth time (Profile)". Business Standard. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  10. ^ PTI (14 December 2013). "Five-time CM Lal Thanhawla, a poster boy of Cong in Mizoram". The Economic Times. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Mizoram CM's brother Lal Thanzara resigns as MoS over office of profit allegations". 20 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Lal Thanhawla inaugurates BNRGSK Block Hqrs building in Serchhip". NE Calling. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Hming chawi chhan tlak ka awm lo: Lal Thanhawla" [I am not worthy of the honour: Lal Thanhawla]. Zothlifim (in Mizo). 22 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Award for Mizoram CM". The Assam Tribune. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Hawla Indoor Stadium". Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Mizoram. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Zira'n Lal Thanhawla Auditorium a hawng" [Zira inaugurates Lal Thanhawla Auditorium]. Vanglaini (in Mizo). 13 January 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  17. ^ "Lal Thanhawla doctorate degree hlan a ni". Vanglaini. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  18. ^ Bhushan, Ranjit (6 November 1996). "Scam In The Hills". Outlookindia. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  19. ^ a b c Staff (16 September 2006). "Mizoram Congress president chargesheeted". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Mizoram CM gets clean chit in Graft Case". webindia123. 28 February 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  21. ^ "Mizoram Chief Minister appears in court graft case". Zee News. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Mizoram Cong chief chargesheeted". The Tribune. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Corruption case against ex Mizoram CM in court today". Zee News. 6 August 2003. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  24. ^ Kalita, Prabin (12 November 2018). "Mizoram CM candidates only ones with pending criminal cases | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  25. ^ a b c Khojol, Henry L. (28 September 2018). "Graft slur on Mizoram CM". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  26. ^ "Lal Thanhawla: Case against Mizoram CM for undeclared asset". The Times of India. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  27. ^ a b T. N. T. Bureau (26 May 2018). "Mizoram: Court dismisses CM's age-fudge case". The Northeast Today. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Mizoram CM false affidavit case deferred again". Unites News of India. 27 April 2018.
  29. ^ Khojol, Henry L. (28 April 2018). "Lal Thanhawla case deferred". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  30. ^ Khojol, Henry L. (26 May 2018). "Age-fudge charge on Mizoram CM rejected". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  31. ^ a b Saprinsanga, Adam (7 October 2019). "Mizoram Congress chief Lal Thanhawla acquitted in election affidavit case". ThePrint. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by
T. Sailo
Chief Minister of Mizoram
5 May 1984 – 20 August 1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by
President's rule
Chief Minister of Mizoram
24 January 1989 – 3 December 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief Minister of Mizoram
11 December 2008 – 14 December 2018
Succeeded by

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]