Aizawl: The Election Commission (EC) has rejected Mizoram BJP president JV Hluna’s request of seeking an extension of filing nomination papers for the upcoming assembly elections in the state. The last date of filing nominations still remains to be November 9.
Hluna had written a letter to the EC on Wednesday citing law-and-order issues in the state, following the massive protests demanding Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) SB Shashank’s ouster, and him being summoned to New Delhi by the Election Commission (EC).
The EC reportedly informed Hluna that his request “has not been acceded to on account of peace and normalcy in the state”.
The widespread protest demanding Shashank’s ouster has been called off for now, as the official has left for the national capital. With all eyes on the outcome of the meeting in New Delhi, the civil bodies have said that their future course of action will depend on the EC’s decision.
More than 40,000 people had been protesting in Aizawl expressing their demand for the upcoming assembly elections to be held in a free-and-fair manner in the state and accusing Shashank of bias for ‘Bru’ voters as he allegedly tried to implement a decision to set up polling stations in Bru refugees relief camps in Tripura. The civil bodies are demanding for the Bru community to cast their votes in Mizoram only accusing the administration of attempting to enroll Bru voters without proper procedures. They are also alleging his hand in the removal of principal secretary (home) Lalnunmawia Chuaung, a native of the state.
Earlier, a three-member team of the Election Commission comprising Jharkhand CEO L Khiangte; Nikhil Kumar, director at Election Commission; and S B Joshi, secretary Election Commission had met top NGO leaders, including representatives from the potent Young Mizo Association (YMA), led by chairman Vanlalruata, and top Mizoram government officials, including chief secretary Arvind Ray, in Aizawl on Tuesday evening to discuss about the joint resolution submitted by the joint NGO Coordination Committee.
While the Election Commissioners are said to have accepted the broad contours of the resolution, the NGOs, however, still await the removal demand of Shashank.
The Assembly elections in Mizoram will be held in a single phase on November 28 and the counting of votes on December 11.