AIZAWL: The Election Commission of India reported a voter turnout of 32.68% at 11 AM as Mizoram's state assembly elections commenced at 7 AM in the Northeastern region.
Earlier in the day, the voter participation rate in Mizoram stood at 12.80% by 9 AM. Voting for the 40-member state assembly is scheduled to continue until 3 PM, with the vote counting slated for December 3.
Mizoram, known for its high literacy rate, has historically witnessed substantial voter turnout. In the 2018 elections, the state achieved a remarkable 84.9% voter participation, with a total of 6,28,608 votes cast.
Notably, Mizoram is the sole poll-bound state where the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are not the dominant contenders.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the Mizo National Front (MNF) secured 26 seats with a 37.8% vote share, triumphing over the ten-year-old Congress government. The Congress won five seats in the 2018 assembly polls, while the BJP claimed one seat, marking its first victory in the North-eastern state.
In the current elections, it is further worth mentioning on the same note that the President of the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the state's Chief Minister, Zoramthanga, is seeking re-election from Aizawl East - I.
The Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), positioning itself as the primary challenger in this election, nominated their party vice president, Lalthansanga, as a contender against the three-time Chief Minister.
ZPM chief Lalduhoma, a former IPS officer and the party's chief ministerial candidate, will be contesting from Serchhip, where he is the incumbent MLA.
Another prominent candidate in the Mizoram polls is state Congress chief Lalsawta, who will contest from Aizawl West-III. Lalsawta faces competition from ZPM candidate VL Zaithanzama and MNF's Sawmvela. Lalsawta secured state elections in 2008 and 2013 from Aizawl East II but lost the seat to MNF in 2018.