Mizoram assembly polls peaceful; over 77 pc turnout recorded

Mizoram assembly polls peaceful; over 77 pc turnout recorded

Aizawl, Nov 7 (PTI) The Mizoram assembly elections passed off peacefully on Tuesday with over 77 per cent of 8.57 lakh electors exercising their franchise, officials said.

The voting percentage is likely to touch 80 as final reports are yet to come from far-flung districts, additional chief electoral officer H Lianzela said.

According to the Election Commission data at 6pm, 77.39 per cent voter turnout was recorded.

In the 2018 state polls, the overall voter turnout was 81.61 per cent.

Lianzela said voting was underway in certain polling stations even at 5pm, an hour after the 4pm deadline, as people waited in queues to exercise their franchise.

Polling in all the 1,276 polling stations was peaceful, the official said, adding 174 candidates, including 18 women, are in the fray.

Of the 11 districts, central Mizoram's Serchhip recorded the highest polling percentage of 84.49, followed by Hnahthial (84.16) and Khawzawl (82.39).

Aizawl district witnessed the lowest turnout of 73.09 per cent. South Mizoram's Siaha (76.41) and Saitual (75.12) also posted lower voting percentages compared to others, ECI data said.

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), main opposition Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and the Congress have fielded candidates in all 40 seats. The BJP is contesting 23 constituencies, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has nominated candidates in four assembly segments. Besides, there are 27 independent candidates.

Votes will be counted on December 3.

Technical glitches in EVM were reported from one polling station in Aizawl where Chief Minister Zoramthanga went to vote, another official said.

'The CM had, in the morning, gone to Ramhlun Venglai Primary School polling station, but the EVM was not working at that time. So, he went back home and came again at 9.40 am to exercise his franchise,' she said.

State Congress president Lalsawta cast his vote at a polling station in his Aizawl West-III constituency at 7.40 am.

Elaborate security arrangements had been made with 7,200 personnel deployed across the state to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections, officials said.

The 510-km-long international border with Myanmar and the 318-km boundary with Bangladesh had been sealed ahead of the polling.

In the 2018 polls, the MNF had won 26 of the 40 seats, securing two more in subsequent bypolls, while the opposition ZPM had won eight constituencies, relegating Congress, which had bagged five assembly segments, to third place. The BJP had opened its account in the Christian-majority state, winning one seat.

Poll pundits said the this year's polls is a straight fight between the MNF and ZPM.

'It is a neck and neck fight between MNF and ZPM. While ZPM will do better in urban areas, MNF will win more seats in rural areas because of its strong bases there,' Prof J. Doungel, who teaches political science in Mizoram University, said.

Expressing confidence, Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who is also the president of MNF, said his party will bag at least 25 seats.

Congress president Lalsawta and ZPM leader and the party chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma also exuded confidence that their parties will win the polls. PTI COR TR ACD BDC NN MNB

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

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