Mizoram assembly election verdict Monday

Aizawl, Dec 8: The fate of the Congress government in Mizoram will be known when votes polled for the assembly elections held Nov 25 are counted Monday, officials said here Sunday.

Over 81 percent of the total of 690,860 voters exercised their franchise across the state to elect a new 40-member assembly and government.

“The counting of ballots would be done across eight districts from 8 a.m. Monday. Postal ballots would be counted first, followed by the votes recorded in EVMs (electronic voting machines),” an official of the state election department told reporters.

The results would decide the fate of 142 candidates, including six women.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, also the state Congress chief, is contesting from two constituencies – Serchhip, his home turf, and neighbouring Hrangturzo – while opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) chief Zoramthanga is trying his electoral fortunes from Tuipui East, bordering Myanmar.

The main poll battle in the mountainous state is between the ruling Congress and opposition coalition Mizoram Democratic Alliance, comprising the MNF, Mizoram People’s Conference (MPC) and Maraland Democratic Front (MDF), all regional and local parties.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has little base in the state, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and the Nationalist Congress Party also contested, fielding candidates on many seats.

Of the 40 assembly seats, 39 are reserved for tribals and one is for general category.

During the last assembly elections held December 2008, the Congress won 32 seats, the MNF three and the MDF one. The MPC and ZNP got two seats each.

The MNF, which ruled the state for 10 years till 2008, is the principal opposition party.

IANS