Aizawl: At least 81.28 per cent of voters cast their votes in the four-cornered contest by-poll to Tuirial assembly constituency in Mizoram’s Kolasib district near Assam border on Saturday, an official said.

Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P. Jawahar said that polling has ended peacefully at 6 pm amid tight security.

The polling duration was extended by one hour after the normal timing (5 pm) for the Sabbath followers and COVID-19 positive patients, he said.

“81.28 per cent turnout was recorded till 6 pm, which could increase to a little decimal point after the final tally,” he said.

There was no untoward incident and law and order problem during the 11-hour polling, he said.

There were a few erroneous EVMs, which were replaced immediately, he said.

The official said that no Bru voters from Tripura cast their votes in the bypoll. “As per our information as of now, not a single Bru voter from Tripura transit camps came and cast their votes in their respective two polling stations,” he said.

According to Jawahar, at least 1 company of central paramilitary forces has been deployed besides state armed and unarmed forces.

One section each of central paramilitary forces was deployed in two sensitive polling stations- Zodin and Hortoki – where Bru voters from Tripura are enrolled among local voters, he said.

COVID-19 protocols were strictly maintained and COVID-19 infected patients were provided PPE suits during the voting, he added.

The by-poll to Tuirial seat was necessitated due to the death of incumbent MLA Andrew H. Thangliana of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) in August. 

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has fielded K. Laldawngliana, while main opposition ZPM candidate is Laltlanmawia. Congress has fielded former MLA Chalrosanga Ralte and BJP fielded its spokesperson K. Laldinthara (BJP) for the by-poll.

There are  17,911 electorates, including 9,092 female voters, in Tuirial constituency.

Of the 17,911 electorates, 663 are Bru voters, who are currently living in six relief camps in North Tripura district and whose re-settlement in the neighbouring state is under process. 

Counting will be held on November 2.

Tuirial constituency is one of the strongholds of the Congress and the party has won the seat for two consecutive terms from 2008 to 2018.

In the last assembly polls in 2018, the Congress lost the seat to ZPM candidate Andrew H. Thangliana, who defeated his nearest opponent Sailothanga Sailo of the MNF by a margin of 204 votes. 

However, Thangliana had contested the election as an Independent candidate, as the ZPM had not obtained party registration at that time. 

There were 16,874 voters in Tuirial constituency in the last assembly polls and 83.78 per cent of them had exercised their franchise.

Also read: Blast on Assam-Mizoram border, one Mizoram policeman held

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