Campaign for Mizoram by-poll ends

PTI | Aizawl | Updated: 27-10-2021 21:39 IST | Created: 27-10-2021 21:39 IST
Campaign for Mizoram by-poll ends
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The hectic campaign for the October 30 by-poll to Tuirial assembly seat in Mizoram ended on Wednesday with all contesting parties organising functions to mark the close their high-pitch electioneering.

The by-election in the seat will be held simultaneously with 29 other assembly seats in various states, besides three parliamentary seats. The by-poll to the Tuirial seat in Kolasib district is being held after the death of its lawmaker Andrew H Thangliana of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM). The ruling MNF has fielded K Laldawngliana, while the ZPM candidate is Laltlangmawi. Congress has fielded Chalrosanga Ralte and BJP K Laldinthara for the by-election.

The contest will, however, be between MNF, Congress and the ZPM. The polling hours are between 7 am and 6 pm and voting will take place in 27 polling stations. The votes will be counted on November 2 at the Kolasib Government College from 8 am, according to the district election officer H Lalthlangliana.

State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) P Jawahar told PTI that at least one company of central paramilitary force will be deployed besides the Mizoram armed and unarmed forces on the polling day.

A total of 17,911 voters, including 9,092 women, are expected to exercise their franchise in the by-poll to decide the fate of four candidates, Lalthlangliana said.

He said that one complaint each has been filed against Mizo National Front (MNF), Congress and ZPM by Mizoram People’s Forum (MPF), a church backed poll watchdog in the state. Show cause notices have been sent to all the three parties and all of them have sent their replies to it.

Jawahar had said on Tuesday that at least 663 Bru voters in transit camps in Tripura are still enrolled in the voters' list of Tuirial assembly constituency. There are, however, no plans yet to make special arrangement or set up special polling booths for them and only standard arrangements are being made so far.

Bru voters wanting to exercise their franchise will have to come on their own expense and cast their votes in the Zodin and Hortoki polling stations where their names are enlisted, he said. In the past the Bru voters used to exercise their franchise through postal ballots. Nearly 12,000 Bru voters are sill enrolled in Mizoram electoral roll as their re-settlement in Tripura is under process, according to EC officials.

Thousands of Brus of Mizoram had fled to neighbouring Tripura following ethnic tension in 1997 and have been lodging at six relief camps in Tripura since then and exclusive polling stations were set up for the voters among them at Kanhmun village on the Mizoram-Tripura border since 2018 state election. According to an agreement signed in January last year, the Brus who failed to return to Mizoram during the repatriation process were allowed to permanently resettle in Tripura.

Political parties and major NGOs in Mizoram have been demanding that names of the Bru voters who have been permitted to resettle in Tripura should be removed from the state's voters list.

Meanwhile, Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) has urged political parties in the state not to facilitate any special arrangement or provide assistance to Bru voters in Tripura to enable them to exercise their franchise in the by-poll. There have been allegations that some political parties are trying to assist the Bru voters to cast votes in their favour.

The organisation president B Vanlaltana told PTI that the student body has no objection to Bru voters who come to cast their votes in their respective polling stations at their own expense. PTI COR KK KK KK

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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