Counting of votes for Mizoram assembly polls tomorrow

by IANS |

Aizawl, Dec 3 (IANS) Counting of votes for Mizoram assembly polls will be taken up on Monday morning and elaborate security arrangements have been made in all the 11 districts.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer H. Lianzela said that over 4,000 officials including women have been engaged and they will be posted in 13 centres across the state to count the votes from 8 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Around 40 counting halls have been set up in different districts, he told IANS.

Lianzela said that all the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are securely placed in the strong rooms in all the 11 district headquarters.

Director General of Police, Anil Shukla said that adequate security measures have been taken for counting of votes. Contingents of Central Armed Police Forces and Mizoram Armed Police will be deployed to maintain law and order and to ensure counting of votes pass off smoothly.

Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7.

More than 80 per cent of the 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise to decide the electoral fate of 174 candidates, including 16 women.

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the state's main Opposition Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Congress have fielded candidates in 40 seats each, while the Aam Aadmi Party is contesting four seats and 27 independent candidates are also in the fray.

The BJP has fielded candidates on 23 seats with a special focus on linguistic minority inhabited areas, especially where the Reang and Chakma tribal communities are in reasonable numbers in the voters' list.

The counting of votes was earlier scheduled on Sunday in the Christian-majority state (87 per cent) but following appeal from all political parties, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, churches, youth and student bodies including the influential Young Mizo Association (YMA), the Election Commission of India (ECI) rescheduled the counting to Monday.

Mizoram's most powerful NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC), an umbrella body of major civil societies and student bodies, staged protests across the state on Friday, demanding change in the date of counting of votes for state assembly polls.

A five-member delegation also met the ECI to apprise the poll panel that as Sundays are sacred for Christians and most people in the state -- both rural and urban areas -- attend church services on that day, the vote counting should be rescheduled to another date.

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