Aizawl: Mizoram recorded a voter turnout of about 63% in Thursday’s six-cornered Lok Sabha polls, where both the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM)-Congress combine are hopeful of victory.
Mizoram has only one Lok Sabha seat. In the last Lok Sabha elections held in 2014, the total voting percentage was 60.06%.
The state has a total of 7,87,777 electorates, including 4,04,169 female and five transgender voters. There were 3,331 persons with disability and 4,687 service voters.
Voting in all 1,175 polling stations across the state and 15 at Kanhmun village on the Mizoram-Tripura, where the Bru voters lodged at six relief camps in Tripura casted their votes, went successfully peaceful as there was no report of untoward incident during polling, which began at 7 am and ended at 5 in the evening, state chief electoral officer (CEO) Ashish Kundra said.
He said that 33.54% of Bru voters had turned up at Kanhmun during polling.
There are 12,081 Bru voters from Tripura. In the state assembly polls held in November last year, more than 52% of Bru voters had casted their votes at Kanhmun.
With more than 65% Lunglei district has recorded the highest voter turnout, followed by Lawngtlai district at over 64%.
All polling areas were sealed after 5 pm but voting continued after the deadline for those voters who have already queued up inside the polling areas before 5 pm, Kundra said. Though there were minor malfunctioning of VVPATS and ballot units, they were immediately replaced and resolved.
Kundra said that the Election Commission received report of the seizure of alcohol and drugs but no cash. He added that three complaints have been lodged on polling day regarding media reports and display of wrong posters.
Altogether, six candidates, including a woman were in the fray.
While the ruling MNF had fielded former Doordarshan Director General C. Lalrosanga, the ZPM-Congress combine fielded a sport journalist Lalnghinglova Hmar, who contested as independent candidate.
Other candidates were Nirupam Chakma of BJP and TBC Lalvenchhunga of newly floated People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM).
Lalhriatrenga Chhangte and lone woman candidate Lalthlamuani have also contested as independent candidates.
Along with the Lok Sabha polls, assembly bypoll to Aizawl West-I seat, which was necessitated after ZPM leader Lalduhoma vacated it to retain his Serchhip seat, was also held on the same day.
While the MNF has fielded former student leader Zothantluanga, the ZPM-Congress combine fielded retired bureaucrat Lalbuanga Sailo Rev Zaichhawna Hlawndo of Zoramthar group has also contested the polls.
More than 72 voters turned up in assembly by-polls.
Speaking to reporters, chief minister and MNF president Zoramthanga expressed confidence that his party would win both the polls as they have projected good candidates.
MNF nominee C Lalrosanga was also confident of winning the polls. He said that he would give priority to improvement of road across the state, mobile connectivity, farmers’ welfare and development of youths, if elected.
ZPM-Congress combine nominee Lalnghinglova Hmar also expressed hope that he would win the polls. He said that he will focus on improving network between Mizoram and Delhi, upliftment of farmers, development of unemployed youths and all-round development. He vowed to oppose the citizenship bill, if re-introduced.
Former chief minister and state Congress president Lal Thanhawla expressed hope that the Congress led UPA would come back to power at the centre. He said the entire nation was not happy with the BJP manifestos.
Counting of votes will be held on May 23 along with rest of the country.