AIZAWL: The Election Commission is unlikely to make special arrangements for the Bru community voters of Mizoram, who are now living in relief camps in Tripura, to enable them to exercise their franchise in that state in the Tuirial assembly seat by-poll on October 30, an official said on Tuesday.
Thousands of the Bru tribal people have been living in relief camps in Tripura since 1997.
They had fled their homeland Mizoram to reach the neighbouring state because of ethnic clashes.
By now, the number of these internally displaced people has risen to over 30,000.
There is no plan as of now to set up special polling booths for the Bru voters at relief camps in Tripura, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P Jawahar told PTI.
We have not received any instruction from the EC regarding the Bru voters (of Tripura) till now.
There is no plan to allow the Bru voters to exercise their franchise in their camps as of now, he said.
In the past, special voting booths were arranged for them at a place on the Mizoram-Tripura border.
The Bru people need to come on their own to their respective polling stations in the Tuirial assembly constituency to cast vote in the by-poll, unless a special arrangement is made for them, the CEO said.
He said 663 Bru voters are currently living at relief camps in Tripura and they have been allowed to permanently re-settle in that state.
After attempts to repatriate the Brus to their home state failed, arrangements have been made to resettle them in Tripura.
The total number of these internally displaced people has risen to over 30,000 now and there are more than 4,400 families.
Following an agreement signed in January last year among representatives of the Bru community, the Centre and the governments of Tripura and Mizoram, it was decided that they will be allowed to resettle permanently in Tripura.
Political parties and civil society organisations such as Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) had opposed any special arrangement for the Bru voters in Tripura and demanded deletion of their names from Mizoram's voter list as they will live permanently in the neighbouring state.
Four candidates are in the fray for the Tuirial by-poll, which was necessitated by the death of sitting MLA Andrew H Thangliana in August.
They are K Laldawngliana of the Mizo National Front, Laltlanmawia of the Zoram People's Movement, Chalrosanga Ralte of the Congress and the BJP's K Laldinthara.
Votes will be counted on November 2.