peacefully

Guwahati, November 28, 2018:

An estimated 73 per cent voters took part in Wednesday’s Mizoram elections which passed off peacefully.

When reports last came in, polling was under way at a number of polling stations.

Mizoram’s chief electoral officer (CEO), Ashish Kundra, said the polling percentage was expected to go up as many people, including the displaced Bru voters from Tripura, were waiting to cast their votes. He said of the 11,987 displaced Bru voters, 6,284 of them had cast their votes till 4 pm.

He lauded the Tripura government for helping the Election Commission in transporting the Bru voters to Kahnmun in Mizoram from the relief camps in Tripura. The CEO said in some places the electronic voting machines (EVMs) had to be replaced as they malfunctioned.

He also informed that Rs.15 lakh was seized on Tuesday night from a vehicle that was travelling from Silchar and action as per the provision of law was taken against the carrier by the police.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said his Congress would retain power by getting “full majority”.

“I am very certain that Congress will get 27 seats and above. I am going to break the jinx,” he said.

The jinx in Mizoram is that ever since the state’s attainment of statehood in 1986, no party ever tasted power for the third time in a row. The Congress has been in power for the past two terms.

While Lal Thanhawla was also optimistic about winning seats in Chakma areas, he was not so sure about it in Bru areas. For this, he sniffed the BJP’s use of “money power”.

“I suspect the BJP lavishly distributed money to the Bru voters,” he said.

The state’s principal opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) dismissed speculations that the polls would throw up a hung House.

“We will win. This is because of the Congress government’s failures. They are selling liquor by going against the Church, NGOs and people at large. There is mismanagement of the financial system and lack of development under the Congress government,” MNF chief and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga said.

The Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), which is a conglomerate of some smaller regional parties and expected to win some seats, said it would not have to align with any political party, including the MNF, post-poll as it would win the elections on its own.

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