Polling begins in Mizoram

Aizawl, Nov 7 (UNI) Amid a good turnout of enthusiastic voters before booths, polling began in India’s tiny North Eastern state of Mizoram to elect a 40-member Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

While polling began from 7 AM, in many of the booths people had lined up prior to the scheduled time, in a bid to exercise their democratic rights in the early minutes. Polling will formally end at 4 PM.

An electorate of 8,56,868, including 4,39,026 women, spread across 1,276 polling stations is eligible to choose representatives from a pool of 170 candidates in India’s second least populated and fifth smallest state.

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the Congress are contesting all the assembly seats while the BJP is in fray in 23 seats and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) nominees are fighting in four seats. There are 27 independent aspirants.

Four of the candidates are contesting from two assembly seats each.

A multi-layered security blanket has been thrown in alongside high-tech measures to ensure free, fair and peaceful polls.

Besides 3,000 odd state police personnel, 450 sections of central armed police forces (CAPF) have been deployed to prevent any breach of peace. There are 21 general observers, 14 expenditure observers and 11 police observers to oversee the polling process.

There are 29 vulnerable polling stations and one critical polling station, mainly along the international and international border areas across the state.

Webcasting is being done in 769 (60 percent) of the polling stations, Election Commission sources said.

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