Though the ruling Congress nominee CL Ruala was re-elected to the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat for the second consecutive term after a close contest, his vote bank considerably eroded compared to 2009 parliamentary polls.
Ruala, 79, defeated his nearest rival Robert Romawia Royte, an Independent candidate sponsored by the eight-party opposition alliance called the United Democratic Front (UDF) by a margin of 6,154 votes in a triangular contest.
While Ruala won in 21 assembly segments most of which are in the remote areas, Royte won in 19 assembly segments, mainly in the urban areas including Aizawl city limits.
In the 2009 parliamentary election, Ruala defeated former Lok Sabha member Dr H Lallungmuana, the candidate sponsored by the opposition MNF and MPC combine by a whopping margin of 1,08,955 votes, the highest ever in the electoral history of the state.
Some voters, including Congressmen commented that the people wanted younger candidate to represent them and the age factor went against Ruala as his main rival Royte was comparatively younger at 47.
Congress had won all but eight seats in the election to the 40-member state Assembly held in 2008 and improved its tally by bagging 34 seats in the last assembly polls held in November last. This time around, the support to the Congress eroded to a large extent.
The decrease in the winning margin could also be attributed to the fact that the Zoram Nationalist Party, which emerged as the third largest party in the state in the 2013 assembly polls joined the opposition alliance (UDF) while it did not support any candidate in 2008.