Mizoram Assembly polls: Over 17% voter turnout recorded in first 2 hrs
Aizawl, Nov 7 : Around 17.18 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 9 a.m. on Tuesday in the Mizoram Assembly polls conducted in all the 40 constituencies amid tight security, election officials said.
According to the officials, there has been no reports of any untoward incidents so far.
'EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) were not functioning properly in a few polling stations initially causing some delay in balloting. The officials replaced the EVMs expeditiously and voting resumed,' an election official said.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga also could not cast his vote in his first attempt due to the snag in the EVM in the Ramhlun Venglai Primary School polling station in theAizawl North II constituency and returned home.
However, Zoramthanga, also the President of the Mizo National Front (MNF), cast his vote later and told the media that he is confident that MNF will again form the government in the hill state for a second consecutive term.
The 79-year-old veteran militant leader turned politician is seeking re-election from the Aizawl East-1 seat for a record seventh time.
Mizoram Governor Hari Babu Kambhampati also cast his vote in Venghlui government primary school polling station under Aizawl South-1 constituency.
With favourable weather conditions, men and women in large numbers queued up in front of polling stations before the voting at 40 Assembly seats started at 7 a.m.
The polling would continue in 1,276 polling stations across the mountainous state till 4 p.m. without any break.
In all 8,57,063 voters, including 4,39,026 females, will decide the electoral fate of 174 candidates, including 16 women.
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 in 23 seats with a special focus on linguistic minority inhabited areas, especially where the Reang and Chakma tribal community are in reasonable numbers in the voters' list.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer, H. Lianzela, told IANS that 4,832 polling personnel have been engaged to conduct the balloting in 1,276 voting centres across 11 districts.
A senior police officer said that security has been tightened across the state, specially along international borders with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Mizoram shares a 510-km porous border with Myanmar and a 318-km border with Bangladesh.
At least 3,000 policemen and 5,400 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces have been deployed for the polls, the official said.