Total of 7,68,181 voters including 3,93,685 females and 3,74,496 males are expected to exercise their franchise in Mizoram that goes to polls on Wednesday to elect representatives to the 7thAssembly of the state. The polling will start at 7 am and will continue till 3 pm.
Polling will be held in 1,164 polling stations across the state where EVMs would be used in all the polling stations. Altogether there are 209 candidates including 15 women candidates are in the fray. There are 63 independent candidates including ZPM and Zoramthar nominees.
One all-women polling station per Assembly Constituency has been set up across the state as per the guidelines of the Election Commission.
The Election Commission has made arrangement for web casting of the polling process from 40 polling stations across the state and two polling stations at Kanhmun on Mizoram border where Bru refugee voters will cast their votes coming from their camps in Tripura.
Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots will be used for the first time in Mizoram polls for the 4363 service voters. Overall 13,451 postal ballots have been issued.
For Bru refugee voters, 15 polling stations have been set up at Kanhmun on Mizoram-Tripura inter-state boundary. Total 12014 Brus refugees residing in Tripura are expected to cast their votes at Kanhmun.
Kanhmun, a border village in Mamit district is the place selected for Brus residing in Tripura refugee camps to cast their votes.
There are 3915 voters who are physically challenged and special arrangements have been made in respective polling stations to enable these voters to exercise their franchise. The state Chief Electoral Officer, Ashis Kundra said minimum facilities had been provided in all the polling stations as per the EC guidelines.
Forty companies of central armed police forces (CAPF) have been deployed in the poll-bound state and they will be assisted by Mizoram Police to ensure smooth conduct of polling. The state and international borders in the state have been sealed for the polling.
The election in Mizoram, as usual, is witnessing keen tussle between traditional rivals Congress and Mizo National Front. Both the parties have fielded candidates in all the 40 legislative assembly constituencies while BJP which is new to the state politics has fielded candidates in 39 constituencies including six women candidates.
116 multimillionaires in the fray
More than half of the total 209 candidates in the fray in are multimillionaires. According to an analysis by election watchdog, the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a total of 116 candidates are multimillionaires.
With 35 names, the Mizo National Front (MNF) leads the list of multimillionaire candidates. The MNF is followed by the Congress (33 candidates) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (17 candidates).
With assets in excess of Rs 100 crore, MNF’s Lalrinenga Sailo contesting from Hachhek in Mamit district is the richest candidate.
It may be mentioned that compared to Rs 2.31 crore in the 2013 Assembly polls, the average assets per candidate contesting the polls this year has risen to Rs 3.11 crore.
Nine party chiefs face criminal charges
Total nine notable candidates of political parties, including the Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, are facing criminal cases.
Along with the CM, another name that leads the team with criminal case records is the former chief minister Zoramthanga who presently heads the Mizo National Front (MNF).
As stated in a report of the Mizoram Election Watch (MEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), the nine political leaders are recognized on the basis of the affidavits filed to the Election Commission by the aspirants. As the affidavits are being filled and filed by the candidates themselves, there can be no ground for this news to be fake.
Other political figures facing criminal charges are V Malsawmtluanga (Independent), Vl Zahawma Chawngthu (BJP), Rasik Mohan Chakma (MNF), Lalduhpuii (BJP), James Thanghmingmawia (Congress) and R Lalthangliana (MNF). Of these nine contestants, four are facing serious criminal cases.

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