Aizawl, Apr 11 UNI | 4 months ago

Slow to moderate polling was recorded in election to the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat and bypoll to the Hrangturzo Assembly seat in first few hours today.

According to reports reaching here, slow to moderate polling was recorded in first few hours.

An electorate of 6,96,448, including 3,54,514 females, will decide who will represent Mizoram's lone seat.

The seat is witnessing a three-cornered contest. The triangular fight is among Congress candidate C L Ruala (79), United Democratic Front nominee Robert Romawia Royte (47) and Aam Aadmi Party contestant M Lalmanzuala (71).

By-election to the Hrangturzo assembly seat in Serchhip district left vacant by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, is also being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls.

UDF is an eight-party alliance comprising three major opposition parties - Mizo National Front (MNF), Mizoram People's Conference (MPC) and Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and smaller parties. It is supporting BJP-led NDA at the Centre.

Eight companies of central paramilitary forces and six battalions of state security forces have been put in place for polling in the state which is sandwiched between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

There are 1,126 polling stations, of which 40, mainly along the borders, have been declared hyper-sensitive polling stations. The voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used in 385 polling stations. The election, scheduled for April 9, was shifted to April 11 after a group of civil society bodies called a 72-hour bandh from April 7 to protest the EC's permission to Bru refugees, camped in Tripura, to vote in that state instead of Mizoram which the strikers had demanded.

The bandh was called off after the EC gave an written assurance that the Bru refugees would no longer exercise their franchise from outside Mizoram in future elections.

Of the 35,000 refugees living in the relief camps, 11,243 are enrolled in Mizoram voters' list. Of these about 71 per cent voters exercised their franchise.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidate C L Ruala had defeated his nearest rival Dr H Lallungmuana, an independent candidate sponsored by the opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) and Mizoram People's Conference (MPC) combine, by a record margin of 1,05,148 votes.

(Posted on 11-04-2014)