Aizawl: Chief minister Lal Thanhawla on Saturday turned 80.
A function was held at chief minister’s bungalow by Congress party to celebrate the chief minister’s birthday.
Many dignitaries across the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Lal Thanhawla as he turned 80 on Saturday.
Greeting the Chief Minister on attaining his 80, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he prayed Lal Thanhawla leads a long life. “Birthday greetings to Mr. Lal Thanhawla, the chief minister of Mizoram. May he be blessed with wonderful health and a long life,” Modi said in a tweet.
Speaking on the occasion, Lal Thanhawla expressed happiness for having attained 80 years of age and thanked all his well wishers.
He reiterated that Congress would retain power in the upcoming assembly elections.
“Many people think that Congress would not retain power in the upcoming assembly because no party has able to form government for three times at a stretch. But we will retain power to break a record in Mizoram political history,” he said.
Many officials including MPCC vice president and home minister R. Lalzirliana and MPCC treasurer H. Liansailova also spoke on the occasion.
Born on May 19, 1938 to Hmartawnphunga Sailo and Lalsawmliani Chawngthu, Lal Thanhawla joined the underground Mizo National Front (MNF) in 1966 after a brief stint in government service. He joined the Congress in 1967 to be appointed chief organiser of the Aizawl District Congress Committee. He was elected as president of the state PCC in 1973 and again in 1977 and was first elected as a legislator from the Champhai seat in 1978. He won the seat again in 1979.
In 1984 he became the chief minister, but stepped down in favour of Laldenga in 1986 to become deputy chief minister after the latter signed the Mizo Accord and headed the interim government. He was again elected in 1987 from the Serchhip constituency and was the leader of the opposition till he toppled the MNF government led by Laldenga in 1988.
After the Congress won the 1989 assembly polls, Lal Thanhawla was made chief minister for a second time. Lal Thanhawla won the 1993 assembly polls from Serchhip and Zawlnuam seats and became the chief minister for the third time. After defeat in 1998 assembly polls, he brought back the Congress party to a landslide victory in the 2008 state assembly and became the chief minister for the fifth time, to be the longest serving chief minister in Mizoram.