Aizawl, December 10: Counting of votes for the 40-member Mizoram Assembly will begin from 8 am on Tuesday amid elaborate security arrangements, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashish Kundra said.
The election was held on November 28 and its result will decide whether Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress will be able to return for a third consecutive term in office. Mizoram is the last bastion of the Congress in the northeast. Mizoram Assembly Elections 2018 Exit Poll Results: India Today-Axis Predicts Gives Edge to MNF, Congress Likely to Lose.
Counting will begin at 13 counting centres in the eight district headquarters, Kundra said Monday. DIG (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte had earlier said there would be a three-layer security cordon manned by eight companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF), the state armed police and unarmed police personnel during the counting.
In the 2013 elections, the Congress had won 34 seats, while its main opposition, the Mizo National Front (MNF), got five and the Mizoram People's Conference bagged one seat.
The Congress and the MNF have ruled Mizoram since 1987. The BJP also has set its eyes on the state this time as all other northeastern states are now ruled either by the saffron party or others supported by it. Sikkim's ruling SDF is also friendly with the BJP.
No party in the state has so far been able to form governments thrice in a row since 1987 when Mizoram became a full-fledged state. The Congress and the MNF fielded 40 candidates each while the BJP contested in 39 seats. The Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM), an alliance formed by two political parties and four groups, also contested in 35 seats.