The Election Commission (EC) has established the rights of Bru or Reang refugees housed in camps in north Tripura to participate in ensuing the Lok Sabha election in Mizoram. Announcing the postal ballot voting facility for the evacuees, the EC virtually turned down the demand of Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who had insisted that the refugees should be entitled to cast their vote only inside Mizoram and not in camps.
Officials of the Tripura Election Department, which has to facilitate the voting exercise of Reangs stranded in six makeshift camps in Kanchanpur subdivision, said on Friday that the EC has set April 1, 2 and 3 for voting. Though around 35,000 refugees are housed, the Mizoram Election Department enlisted only 11,500 voters in the last enumeration process.
The voters represent 10 Assembly constituencies in western Mizoram, but their voting is crucial for the lone Lok Sabha constituency of the State. The Mizoram National Font (MNF) is expected to put up a fight against the Congress which won last the Lok Sabha poll.
One voting centre would be set up in each of the camps and the EC would despatch an observer to oversee the voting. The Tripura government has been directed to arrange logistic and security for the EC and Mizoram officials and assist in transportation of ballot boxes to Mizoram.