The tabulation of ballots for the Mizoram Assembly elections commenced on Monday morning under security protocols spanning all 11 districts of the state.
Initial reports from Additional Chief Electoral Officer H Lianzela highlighted the prioritised counting of postal ballots, followed by the comprehensive tallying of votes cast through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
The intricate counting process involves the participation of over 4,000 officials, including a significant representation of women, who are stationed across 40 counting halls situated in 13 centers within the 11 districts, IANS reported.
Director General of Police, Anil Shukla, assured the public of robust security measures, with ample contingents of Central Armed Police Forces and Mizoram Armed Police strategically deployed to maintain law and order during the counting proceedings.
An impressive 80% of the 8.57 lakh eligible candidates cast vote to determine the electoral fortunes of 174 candidates, among whom 16 are women.
Key contenders include the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the principal Opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) competing in four seats, and the BJP fielding candidates in 23 seats, with a distinct emphasis on areas inhabited by linguistic minorities, particularly the Reang and Chakma tribal communities.
Originally slated for Sunday, the counting day was rescheduled to Monday following persistent appeals from political parties, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, churches, and influential groups such as the Young Mizo Association (YMA).
The Election Commission of India (ECI) acceded to the collective request, and the counting process unfolded after the polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly took place on November 7.