A poster boy of Congress in Mizoram, four-time Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla is a stalwart in the state politics and has been in and out of power for the past three decades.
71-year-old Lal Thanhawla is poised to become chief minister for the fifth time after steering the Congress to retain power.
He won from both Serchhip and Hrangturzo today, the two seats he contested. He first became chief minister of the northeastern state in 1984.
From a low-level government official, Lal Thanhawla’s rise in the Congress ranks has been nothing short of meteoric.
As the poster boy of the Congress, he has been the architect of each and every electoral success the party has achieved in this hill state after it attained statehood in 1987.
Lal Thanhawla also worked as a journalist for various periodicals. He was Founder-President of Mizoram Journalists Association,
He started his career as a recorder in the office of the Inspector of Schools in the Mizo District Council before going on to join the Assam Co-operative Apex Bank as a dealing assistant in 1963-64. During this time, he also completed his graduation from Aizawl College.
Mizoram — then a district council under Assam — was undergoing an unrest and the Mizo National Front (MNF) led by Laldenga was fighting for separate statehood.
The MNF was looking for educated young people and persistently wooed Lal Thanhawla to join them. Although apprehensive of joining a seccessionist movement, he became a member of the MNF and was soon made its ‘foreign secretary’.
In 1967, the government arrested him on charges of sedition and he was sent to the Nagaon Jail in Assam, where he remained until his release in 1969.