Lal Thanhawla is an Indian politician who has been the Chief Minister of Mizoram since 11 December 2008. Previously he was Chief Minister from 1984 to 1986 and from 1989 to 1998. He was elected to another term in the 2013 Mizoram Legislative Assembly election. This was the fifth time he was elected to the office of Chief Minister, which is a record in Mizoram. He belongs to the Indian National Congress. His electoral constituencies are Serchhip and Hrangturzo. He successfully contested the general elections nine times, in 1978, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2008, and 2013.
Lal Thanhawla was in born 19 May 1942. Lal Thanhawla is the son of Hmartawnphunga Sailo and Lalsawmliani Chawngthu. He completed matriculation in 1958. He passed his 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.
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 Pu 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, the only time since his political career started. He eventually reclaimed in the 2003 elections. Currently he is elected from both Serchhip and Hrangturzo constituencies.
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
Deputy controller of mines Lalhriatrenga Chhangte alleged Lal Thanhawla had amassed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Mizoram police filed a charge-sheet against former state chief minister and PCC chief Lal Thanhawla and two businessmen in connection with a second corruption case. Investigation revealed that more than Rs 5.25 crore was paid from various accounts of the Mumbai-based Eastern Overseas Corporation, which undertook two hydel project construction works in the state, to Oceanic Business Agency, a firm owned by the late Lal Thanzaua, son of the former chief minister, the chargesheet said.
According to the affidavit filed by the CM, he has a wealth worth Rs.89, 86,246.50 in cash. This includes Rs.8 lakhs in hand and those of his savings in different Banks like SBI, Axis, Vijaya, MUCO, Canara and HDFC Bank.
Lal Thanhawla also has land/house-sites worth Rs.700 lakhs. His wife Lal Riliani also has a wealth of Rs.85, 59, 733.69 in cash and land worth Rs.40 lakhs, according to the affidavit.