Aizawl: More than 77 per cent turnout was recorded in Mizoram assembly polls after the deadline for polling ended peacefully at 4 pm on Tuesday, election officials said.
The voting percentage, however, could increase, as voting underwent in some polling stations till 9 pm due to technical glitches in EVMs, they said.
They said that they expect around 80 per cent turnout.
Polling, which began at 7 am across 1,276 polling stations, was peaceful and no law and order issue was reported during the 9-hour-long voting, they said.
Over 8.75 lakh electors, including 4.39 lakh female voters, are eligible to cast their votes in the ongoing state assembly polls.
According to Election Commission data, 77.83 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 5 pm.
Of the 11 districts, central Mizoram’s Serchhip district recorded the highest polling percentage of 84.78 per cent, followed by Mamit district at 84.23 per cent and Hnahthial district at 84.16 per cent.
Aizawl district witnessed the lowest turnout of 73.37 per cent, followed by south Mizoram’s Siaha district at 76.26 per cent and 76.85 per cent in Manipur border Saitual district, the ECI data said.
Mizoram recorded 81.61 polling percentage in the last assembly polls held in 2018.
Chief minister Zoramthanga, who failed to exercise his franchise in the morning due to EVM malfunctioning, cast his vote at 9:40 am.
Altogether 7,200 policemen and security personnel have been deployed across the state to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
The 828-km-long international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh and the inter-state boundaries with Assam, Manipur and Tripura have been sealed, according to state Chief Electoral Officer Madhup Vyas.
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A total of 174 candidates, including 18 women, are in the fray.
Ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Congress have fielded 40 seats each.
BJP, which contested 39 in 2018 elections, has fielded 23 seats and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has nominated 4 candidates.
There are 27 independent candidates.
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Poll pundits said that the ongoing assembly polls are a straight faith between MNF and ZPM.
“It is a neck-to-neck fight between MNF and ZPM. While ZPM will do better in urban areas, MNF will win more seats than the ZPM in rural areas because of its strong bases there,” Prof. J. Doungel, who teaches Political Science at Mizoram University, said.
Expressing confidence, Zoramthanga, who is also the president of MNF, said that his party will sweep the polls and there will be no ‘hung assembly.’
He said that the MNF will bag not less than 25 seats.
Congress president Lalsawta and ZPM leader and the party chief ministerial candidate Lalduhoma also exuded hope that they will win the assembly polls.
Lalduhoma said that people will vote for ZPM for change and a new set of good governance.
The counting of votes will take place on December 3.
In 2018 assembly polls, MNF won a landslide victory and secured 26 seats, while ZPM won 8 seats and emerged as the main opposition thereby relegating Congress, which bagged 5 seats, to the third rank.
BJP opened its account in Christian Christian-majority state winning Chakma dominant Tuichawng seat.
The MNF won two more seats in the subsequent assembly by-polls.
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