Mizoram exit poll predicts hung house in Cong’s last bastion in north east
The exit polls predict that Mizoram may well have its first hung assembly this time .
An exit poll by Republic TV- CVoter shows a hung house in Mizoram, the last bastion of the Congress in the north east, with an advantage for the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) in the 40-member House.
The CNX - Times Now poll also predicts a hung House with 18 seats for MNF and 16 for Congress and 6 for others. All eyes will obvioulsy be on the ‘Others’ category in case of a hung House.
Mizoram went to poll on November 28 with three main parties in the fray - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and the Mizo National Front (MNF).
So far, of the five states that have gone to elections this November-December, Mizoram is the only Congress-ruled state. It is also the only Congress-ruled state in the northeast, with the BJP neither in power nor in a ruling coalition.
Elections in the Christian-majority Mizoram are usually quiet affairs, due to certain guidelines issued by the Mizoram People’s Forum, a church-sponsored election watchdog.
As in the previous elections, the state is likely to witness a direct contest between the ruling Congress (in power since 2008) and the Mizo National Front (MNF). Several others including the BJP, the National People’s Party (NPP) and the Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM) could play crucial roles in the formation of the next government.
Experts, however, say that Mizoram may well have its first hung assembly this time with the BJP looking to make its presence felt. The saffron party has made deep inroads in the northeast since the Modi government came to power at the Centre in 2014 and its performance in the Christian-majority state will be keenly watched.
The Congress and the MNF are contesting for all 40 seats while BJP has put up candidates for 39 and the ZPM is contest 35 seats. Seeking a third term in office, chief minister Lal Thanhawla, among nine candidates who have filed nominations from multiple seats, is contesting for both the Serchhip and Champhai South seats.
More than 7.70 lakh voters had cast their vote on November 28.
Ever since it became a full-fledged state in 1987, the Congress and the Mizo National Front have ruled Mizoram. However, no party has had a consecutive three-terms at the office. Elections to the 40-member assembly in Mizoram, which has a population of about 10 lakh, is significant for the BJP that considers it to be the ‘final frontier’ in the region.
In 2013, the Congress had won 34 seats, while its main opposition, the Mizo National Front (MNF), had won five and the Mizoram People’s Conference bagged one seat.
The fates of 209 candidates will be decided on December 11, when the votes will be counted.
Campaigning in the state saw a paradigm shift in this election with political parties making extensive use of social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp to woo young voters.
The ruling Congress banked heavily for the elections on its flagship New Land Use Policy (NLUP), which brought the party to power for two consecutive terms.
The campaign had reached its peak in the final week with the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Other prominent leaders who campaigned in the state included Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh, National People’s Party (NPP) leader and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.