Voting for the Mizoram Assembly Elections 2018 took place on Wednesday. Elections are being held for 40 seats in a state that is the last bastion of the Congress in the Northeast.
The Congress was in power in the outgoing assembly, with veteran political leader Lal Thanhawla as the Chief Minister for the fifth time. He is trying to stave off a stiff challenge from the Mizo National Front (MNF) led by arch-rival Zoramthanga and an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
It is a prestige battle for the Congress.
The party had suffered a bitter exit from government in the Meghalaya assembly elections held in March despite emerging as the single-largest party. Conrad Sangma of the National People’s Party (NPP) formed the government at the head of a five-party coalition.
The BJP had emerged victorious in the Tripura assembly polls, ousting the Manik Sarkar-led Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) government. Biplab Kumar Deb became the party’s first Chief Minister in the state.
Mizoram Assembly Elections 2018 In Numbers
There are 209 candidates in the fray for the 40 seats. The Congress and the Mizo National Front (MNF) have put up candidates in all the seats; the BJP has fielded 39.
There are 64 Independent candidates. The election has 15 women candidates in all.
The Congress had won 34 seats in the last election; the MNF had to be content with 5 while the Mizoram People’s conference managed to win a solitary seat.
The BJP had failed to win a single seat but is hoping to perform much better this time so that it has a say in government formation.
State Assembly Elections 2018
Elections are being held in five states in what is being seen as the semi-final ahead of the mega battle for the Lok Sabha in 2019. The other states are Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh.
Elections to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly were also held on Wednesday. The BJP led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan is fighting to win a fourth successive term in government. Chouhan has been the Chief Minister since 2003.
The second phase of voting for 72 seats in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections took place on 20 November. Elections were held for 18 seats in Naxal-affected districts were held earlier on 12 November.
Rajasthan will vote for 200 seats on 7 December; Telangana will see elections for 119 seats the same day.
Counting of votes for elections in all the five states will be held on 11 December.
(Note – All the photos are courtesy the Twitter handle of the official spokesperson of Election Commission of India.)