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Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram was held during the first phase on April 11
Polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram was held during the first phase on April 11|Representational Image
MIZORAM

Lok Sabha polls turn into an unending battle in Mizoram

Even a week after polling, battle between ruling MNF and opposition ZPM-Cong combine over typo in newspaper and misleading posters on poll day is not yet over

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Even a week after polling for the lone Lok Sabha seat in India’s second least populous state, Mizoram, was held on April 11, the battle between the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and two key opposition parties -- Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and the Congress -- is not yet over.

The aftermath of the polls has seen intense heat between the ruling and rival camps over the alleged misleading typo in a local paper and interchanging serial number of candidates in posters on polling day.

The ZPM and Congress, which contested the assembly polls against each other last year but joined hands in Lok Sabha polls to smash the ruling camp, said it would file a fresh complaint with the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Thursday against misplacing the serial number of their candidate to the confusion of many voters.

A meeting of ZPM and Congress joint committee held under the leadership of Congress legislature party leader Zodintluanga on Wednesday expressed disappointment for CEO office being allegedly failed to take up the complaint lodged by the committee on polling day.

The meeting also decided to file complaint against the Returning Officer for allegedly being responsible for leakage of a copy of the show cause notice served to ZPM-Congress common candidate Lalnghinglova Hmar, which was widely circulated on social media, two hours before the candidate received the hard copy.

Citing that leaking a photo copy of the show cause notice before the candidate receives the hard copy is against law, the meeting demanded legal action against the RO.

The ZPM and Congress had earlier accused the election machinery of being “partial” and giving unfair preferential treatment to MNF.

They alleged that while the CEO office took prompt action against the complaint lodged by MNF over the misprint of the party’s symbol in Vanglaini, the largest circulated paper in the state, the election machinery paid negligence to the complaint filed by the ZPM-Congress combine as no action has been taken in this regard till date.

ZPM-Congress joint committee claimed that separate complaint was submitted by general headquarters and Lunglei unit to CEO against misplacing of their candidate from serial number 5 to serial 4 in some posters displayed for public information in various polling stations within Lunglei district on polling day.

ZPM-Congress joint publicity committee chairman Lallianchhunga alleged that Lunglei has a high number of unlettered people and therefore the posters have greatly confused the voters.

On Monday, the ZPM also submitted petition to the CEO, re-appealing him to investigate the complaint filed by its leader Lalduhoma against the alleged violation of model code of conduct by MNF led state government by renewing the already suspended lottery contract with four distributors ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

CEO Kundra had said that the RO was acting as per provision of law in lodging FIR over the misleading media report and that the election machinery has always acted in a fair and impartial manner without any bias or prejudice.