Indian PM Modi urges young voters to exercise franchise
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon the people of Mizoram, especially the young and first-time voters, to exercise their franchise and strengthen the festival of democracy as Mizoram goes to vote.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also urged the youth, to come out and vote in large numbers.
"I urge our sisters and brothers in Mizoram, especially the youth, to come out and vote in large numbers. Each and every vote will lay the foundation of a developed and prosperous Mizoram," Shah said in a post on 'X'.
Meanwhile, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga was unable to cast his vote in the Mizoram assembly elections in the early hours due to a minor malfunction in the electronic voting machine.
"Because the machine was not working. I was waiting for some time. But since the machine could not work I said that I will visit my constituency and I will vote after the morning meet," the Chief Minister said speaking to ANI after coming out of the polling booth.
The Chief Minister was confident that there will not be a hung Assembly in Mizoram and that his party will form the government.
"It will not be a hung Assembly. It will be an MNF government. I have full confidence in that." he said.
Polling for the Mizoram Assembly began on Tuesday, the counting of which is scheduled on December 3. The voting began at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and will continue till 3 p.m.
A total of 174 candidates are in the fray. According to the CEO, Mizoram, the total number of electors in Mizoram stands at 8,51,895. Out of which 4,12,969 are male, 4,38,925 are female, and 1 (one) third gender.
There are a total of 4,973 service voters in Mizoram. First-time voters who are in the age group of 18-19 years stand at 50,611. The sex ratio of voters in Mizoram is 1,063. The electoral population (EP) ratio stands at 63.27.
The total number of polling stations is 1276, out of which 525 fall in urban areas and 751 in rural areas.
As many as 2,058 votes have been cast through home voting and 7,497 votes through postal ballots at designated facilitation centers for the Mizoram Assembly elections.
The 40-member state assembly is the only poll-bound state where the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are not the primary contenders.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the Mizo National Front (MNF) secured 26 seats with a vote share of 37.8 per cent and emerged victorious, defeating the 10-year-old Congress government.
The Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM), the regional party that surprisingly came in second in the 2018 polls, bagged eight seats. It is seen by many as the main contender for the ruling party.
The Congress bagged five seats in the 2018 assembly polls, while the BJP got one, securing its first seat in the northeastern state.
Incumbent Chief Minister Zoramthanga who is also the president of the Mizo National Front party, is seeking re-election from the Aizawl East I constituency. State Congress Chief Lalswata is in the fray from Aizawl West 3 constituency. Lalduhoma, who is the founder and president of the Zoram Nationalist Party is in the fray from Serchhip.