Mizoram elections: MNF confident of winning again as parties await result
The counting was earlier scheduled for December 3, along that Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh and Telangana — where polls were held between Nov 7 and 30.
The counting of votes for Mizoram was deferred by a day to Monday, the Election Commission had announced on Friday.
The counting was earlier scheduled for December 3, along that in four other states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana — where assembly polls were held between November 7 and 30.
The Election Commission said in an official statement on Friday, “The Commission has received several representations from various quarters requesting for change in date of counting from 3 December 2023 (Sunday) to some other weekday, on the ground that 3 December 2023 being Sunday a special significance for the people of Mizoram.”
For the 40-member legislative assembly, there are four major contenders in the fray.
The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM).
Mizoram Assembly Election 2023 Full Coverage
Major exit polls have predicted a tight contest between the three parties.
“The exit polls may say anything. But I am confident that MNF will get majority on its own and return to power,” Vanlalzawma, vice president, (MNF), said.
President of Zoram Peoples Movement, Lalduhoma didn’t comment on the exit polls and expressed confidence of forming the next government on its own.
“We have done our bit. I haven’t seen the exit polls and don’t want to comment on them,” said Lalsawta, president of Mizoram Congress.
In 2018, MNF had ousted Congress from power by winning 26 seats.
A new regional party, ZPM, which was formed a year earlier, had come second, winning 8 seats, while Congress, which bagged 5 seats, was relegated to the third spot.
BJP made its debut in the Christian-majority state by winning a single seat.
While MNF, ZPM and Congress have put up candidates in all seats, BJP, which contested 39 seats five years ago, had fielded 23 candidates. There are a total of 174 candidates in fray including 16 women—three from BJP, two each from Congress, MNF and ZPM and rest Independents.
The outgoing assembly had no women MLAs.
Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7. More than 80% of over 8.57 lakh voters cast their votes to decide the fate of 174 candidates.
“There will be 40 counting halls in all. Around 4,000 counting and other support staff would be on duty in the locations. To ensure security, 10 companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) and around 2000 personnel from Mizoram police would also be engaged,” chief electoral officer Madhup Vyas informed.
All four exit polls, which were announced on Friday, showed that the main contest would be between MNF and ZPM.
While two, India Today-Axis and Jan ki Baat-News 18, gave ZPM a clear advantage, two other ABP-Cvoter and P-Marg gave an edge to MNF.
Congress is shown to be placed at third followed by BJP.
“The regional parties, MNF and ZPM, are involved in a tight race and clearly ahead of the two national parties, Congress and BJP. The grand old party’s aims of a revival won’t succeed and BJP won’t be able to win more than three seats,” said J Doungel, professor of political science at Mizoram University.
On Friday, the EC had changed the date of counting from December 3, which falls on a Sunday, to December 4.
There was a demand from parties seeking a change in the date as Sundays are spent by residents of the Christian-majority state in church visits and prayers.
“We thank the EC for their decision. We had been making repeated requests for the same. Sunday is meant for worship, and it would have affected the counting of votes. Now the people are happy,” said Lalramliana Pachuau, general secretary of Mizoram Peoples Forum.