75 percent polling in Mizoram
By PTI | Published: 25th November 2013 06:14 PM |
75 per cent polling was today witnessed in the election to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly which passed off peacefully.
State Chief Electoral Officer Ashwani Kumar said that 75 per cent of the electorate exercised the franchise by 3:30 PM when the polling ended.
The election was completely peaceful, he said.
Brisk polling was reported from many polling stations in Aizawl by noon where long queues were seen in front of the booths in Mission Veng and Thakthing areas even before the elections began.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla cast his vote with his wife Lal Riliani at Zarkawt-II Polling Station at Babutlang area in Zarkawt locality.
The Chief Minister, belonging to the Congress, and all his 11 ministers are among the 142 candidates in fray.
Speaking to reporters after exercising franchise, Lal Thanhawla said that he was confident of retaining power in the state.
"I have high hopes that we will retain power with a thumping majority by bagging the same number of seats (32) if not more," he said.
The people, he said, wanted the Congress to be in power for its developmental work and running a clean government.
The atmosphere in front of the polling stations was low-key and less festive due to strict diktats of the Mizoram People's Forum (MPF), the church sponsored election watchd
The main contenders - ruling Congress and opposition Mizoram Democratic Alliance comprising MNF, Mizoram People's Conference and Maraland Democratic Alliance were contesting at all 40 seats in the election which saw the paper train being introduced for the first time.
All the seats are reserved for ST nominees, except Lunglei South which is for general candidates.
Women outnumber men by a margin of 9,806 in the electorate of 6,908,60. While there are 3,50,333 women in the electorate, male voters count 3,40,527.
For the first time in the country, a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system was tried in this election on a larger scale, in 10 constituencies. It was first experimented in an Assembly bypoll in Nagaland in September.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla (Congress) contested from two constituencies – Serchhip, his home turf, and neighbouring Hrangturzo, while opposition MNF leader and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga (MNF) was trying his luck from Tuipui East bordering Myanmar.
The Congress, which had won 32 seats in 2008, has fielded 31 of the sitting MLAs. Only Nirupam Chakma was replaced by B D Chakma, chief executive member of the Chakma Autonomous District Council.
There are six women candidates - three fielded by BJP, one each by Congress and MNF and one rebel MNF candidate.
An additional 31 companies of central para-military forces and state police of neighbouring states were deployed to oversee the polls apart from seven armed battalions of the state police.