Mizoram assembly polls on Monday with VVPAT machines

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Mizo polls with VVPAT machines on Monday
Aizawl, Nov 24: Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress and all his 11 ministers are among 142 candidates who will be contesting for the 40-member Assembly election tomorrow. For the first time in the country, voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be used in this election in a larger scale, in 10 constituencies.

It was first experimented in an assembly bypoll in Nagaland in September. The VVPAT is a machine attached to EVMs which allows voters to check if their votes are cast the way they wished. All the seats in Mizoram are reserved for ST nominees, except Lunglei South which is for general candidates.

Both the ruling Congress and the opposition Mizoram Democratic Alliance (MDA) comprising MNF, Mizoram People's Conference and Maraland Democratic Alliance have fielded candidates in all the 40 seats.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla (Congress) is contesting from two constituencies – Serchhip, his home turf, and neighbouring Hrangturzo and opposition MNF leader and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga (MNF) is trying his luck from Tuipui East bordering Myanmar.

Speaker R Romawia and Deputy Speaker Johalso are in the fray from Aizawl North -I and Mamit seats respectively. The Congress which had won 32 seats in 2008 has fielded 31 of the sitting MLAs.

Only Nirupam Chakma was replaced by B D Chakma, chief executive member of the Chakma Autonomous District Council. There are six women candidates -- three fielded by BJP, one each by Congress and MNF and one rebel MNF candidate.

There are 6,90,860 voters and 1,126 polling stations in the state, of which 94, mostly in border areas, have been identified as 'critical' where security has been beefed up.

PTI

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