Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla confident of thumping victory for ruling Congress

Over 80 per cent of the total 6,90,860 votes were polled in elections to the 40-member Mizoram Assembly on Monday. Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer Ashwini Kumar told The Hindu that the actual poll percentage would be known only after final reports from all the polling stations were received.

The Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system was used in 217 polling stations in 10 constituencies. However, Mr. Kumar said, 10 VVPAT systems had to be replaced due to technical fault, five before the polling began and five during the polling hours. The system was first used in a by-election in Nagaland.

Mr. Kumar said polling passed off peacefully and smoothly with around 54 per cent polling recorded till 1 p.m. The votes will bee counted on December 9.

CM confident of win

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla expressed confidence that the ruling Congress would be back in power for a second consecutive term. After casting his vote with his wife Lal Riliani at the Zarkawt-II polling station in Aizawl, Mr. Thanhawla told journalists that the Congress would register a thumping victory, winning the same number of seats as in 2008, if not more. In 2008, the Congress won 32 of the 40 seats. The Congress has put up candidates in all the 40 seats, with the Chief Minister contesting from two constituencies — Serchhip and Hrangturzo.

The former Chief Minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga, who is in the fray from the East Tuipui constituency, is among the 142 candidates contesting the elections.

The Mizoram Democratic Alliance, comprising the MNF, the Mizoram People’s Conference and the Maraland Democratic Front had a seat-sharing arrangement in place with the MNF contesting 31 seats, the MPC eight and the MDF one.