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Ashish Kundra
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MIZORAM

Mizoram fully prepared for LS polls, assembly by-election: CEO

Poll preparedness in all parts of state satisfactory, all districts have completed commissioning of EVMs, final poll-related training to be held today, says Ashish Kundra

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Mizoram is fully prepared for election to the lone Lok Sabha seat and by-election to Aizawl West-I assembly constituency, which will be held simultaneously on April 11, state chief electoral officer (CEO) Ashish Kundra said on Sunday.

The assembly by-election was necessitated after Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) leader Lalduhoma vacated it to retain his Serchhip seat.

“We are fully geared for elections. I have visited different parts of the state -- Lunglei, Lawngtlai, Siaha and Champhai districts -- for a review of poll preparedness last week,” Kundra told EastMojo.

Kundra said that poll preparedness in all parts of the state was satisfactory and all the districts have completed commissioning of EVMs. Final poll related training will be held on Monday, he added.

According to Kundra, all poling officials will be sent to their respective polling areas on Wednesday, while polling officials to be deployed in remote areas will leave on Tuesday. He said that elections will be held under tight security.

Six companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) will be deployed in different parts of the state in addition to six companies of CAPF already stationed in the state. They will be assisted by state police, he said.

The Election Commission has been taking massive efforts to improve communication in the state especially in remote areas.

Kundra said that wireless sets back up were installed in at least 50 polling stations in Lawngtlai district in southern part of the state and there is one polling station which can’t be reached by vehicle but by boat in the district.

According to the CEO, there will be 117 women polling stations, manned by women polling officials and women security staff for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state. He said that women polling stations were created due to huge positive response in the state assembly polls held in November last year.

Mizoram goes to the polls on April 11, where a total of 7,84,405 electorates, including 4,02,408 females voters, 6 transgender and 4,428 service voters will decide the fate of six candidates, including a woman in fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat.

There are 1,175 polling stations across the state. The Election Commission has set up 15 exclusive polling booths at Kanhmun village on Mizoram-Tripura border for Bru voters from six relief camps in Tripura.

While the ruling MNF has fielded former Doordarshan Director General C. Lalrosanga, the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)- Congress combine projected a sport journalist Lalnghinglova Hmar.

The BJP, which is contesting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time, has fielded its state president and veteran Chakma politician Nirupam Chakma and the newly floated People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) fielded former navy TBC Lalvenchhunga.

Two independent candidates Lalhriatrenga Chhangte and Lalthlamuani are also contesting the polls.

Even though six candidates are in the fray, the key contest is likely between MNF and ZPM-Congress combine.

Three candidates have been in fray for assembly by-election to Aizawl West-I seat. While the ruling MNF has fielded former student leader Zothansanga, the ZPM-Congress combine projected retired bureaucrat Lalbuanga Sailon.

Rev Zaichhawnga Hlawndo of Zoramthar group is also contesting the polls as independent.