July 09 2020
Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram Assembly polls begin
24 November 2013

While Shivraj Singh Chouhan seeks third term as MP CM, Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress and all his 11 ministers are among the 142 candidates in fray in Mizoram

Polling for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly began this morning at 8 am to decide the fate of 230 seats where 2,583 candidates are in the fray.

The BJP government led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan is fighting for an unprecedented third consecutive victory.

Long queues were seen from morning at many polling booths in major cities of the state, including Bhopal.

Polling in three Assembly constituencies of Naxal affected Balaghat district — Baihar, Lanji and Paraswada — started at 7 am and will end at 3 pm.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Leader of the Opposition in state Assembly Ajay Singh were among those who cast their votes early today in their respective constituencies of Budhni and Churhat.

Strict security arrangements have been made all over the state to ensure smooth conduct of polling.

Voting will be held in 53,896 polling booths in 51 districts with an electorate of 4,64,57,724.

Chouhan is contesting from Budhni and Vidisha seats.

The other prominent candidates from BJP are state Urban Development Minister and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur (Govindpura in Bhopal), Forest Minister Sartaj Singh (Seoni— Malwa in Hoshangabad district) and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra (Datia proper in Datia district).

State Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta is contesting from Bhopal South—West while Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Gopal Bhargava from Rehli and BJP MP Yashodhara Raje Scindia from Shivpuri.

The Congress’ candidates are led by Ajay Singh, who is contesting again from the Churhat constituency in Sidhi district.

Another prominent Congress candidate contesting the election is Jaiwardhan Singh, the son of party General Secretary and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh. Jaiwardhan is in the race from Raghogarh constituency in Guna district.

Candidates from 12 erstwhile royal families have also thrown their hats in the ring.

Congress has been out of power in the state since it lost elections in December 2003.

VVPAT in Mizoram

Polling to elect a new Assembly in Mizoram began at 7 a.m. on Monday with the main contenders — ruling Congress and opposition Mizoram Democratic Alliance comprising MNF, Mizoram People’s Conference and Maraland Democratic Alliance — contesting in all the 40 seats.

All the seats are reserved for ST nominees, except Lunglei South which is for general candidates. Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla of the Congress and all his 11 ministers are among the 142 candidates in fray.

Women outnumber men by a margin of 9,806 in the electorate of 6,90,860. While there are 3,50,333 women in the electorate, male voters count for 3,40,527.

For the first time in the country, a voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system will be tried in this election on a larger scale, in 10 constituencies. It was first experimented in an Assembly bypoll in Nagaland in September.

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

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 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.

An additional 31 companies of central paramilitary forces and state police of neighbouring states have been deployed to oversee the polls apart from seven armed battalions of the state police.

Security has been tightened all along the Manipur border as also along the unfenced 64-km border near the tri-junction of Mizoram, Tripura and Bangladesh in Mamit district.

Of the 40 candidates fielded by the MNF, MDA which is a senior partner of the MDA, is contesting at 31 seats, the MPC and the MDF have fielded candidates in eight and one constituencies respectively.

Other contesting parties are Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP, 38 seats), BJP (17), NCP (two) and Jai Maha Bharath Party (one). There are four independent candidates.



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