Elaborate arrangements have been made for the counting of votes for the assembly elections in Mizoram, which saw a three-way fight between the ruling MNF, the ZPM and the Congress, on Monday.
The counting was supposed to happen on Sunday along with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. However, it was deferred by the Election Commission following appeals by political parties, NGOs, churches and students' bodies as Sunday holds a special significance for the people of Mizoram, a Christian-majority state.
The state's Additional Chief Electoral Officer H Lianzela told PTI that the counting will begin in all 13 centres at 8 am amid tight security. One counting hall has been set up for each of the 40 assembly seats at these 13 centres, he said.
Postal ballots will be counted first, and from 8.30 am, the votes polled in the EVMs will be counted, he added. Besides three counting centres in the Aizawl district, which has 12 assembly constituencies, one centre each has been set up in the 10 other districts, Lianzela said.
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In some of the seats that have a lesser number of voters, only two rounds of counting will be held, but in most of the constituencies, five rounds will be counted, he said. More than 4,000 personnel will be involved in the counting process.
In all, there will be 399 tables for the EVMs and 56 for the counting of postal ballots, he said. Polling was held on November 7, and over 80 per cent of the state's 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise.
A total of 174 candidates, including 18 women, were in the fray. The MNF, ZPM and Congress contested 40 seats each, while the BJP fielded candidates in 13 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which contested the assembly polls here for the first time, fought in four seats.
Also, there were 17 Independent candidates. Some exit polls have predicted a clean sweep by the ZPM, but the majority indicated a hung House with no party getting a clear majority.
In the last assembly elections, held in 2018, the MNF had won 26 seats and the ZPM secured eight seats, relegating the Congress that bagged five seats to the third place. The BJP had won one seat.
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