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Mizoram Assembly Elections: Polling begins; Congress strives for a third successive term

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The Congress is striving for a third successive term against a stiff challenge from the Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by former Chief Minister Zoramthanga.

Mizoram Assembly Elections: Polling begins; Congress strives for a third successive term
Amid tight security, polling began at 7 AM for the 40-member Mizoram assembly election on Wednesday, officials said.
According to senior police officials, around 11,100 security personnel comprising central paramilitary and state security forces have been deployed to foil any attempt to create trouble during the polling.
Voting will continue uninterrupted till 4 PM.
In all 768,181 voters, including 393,685 women, would decide the electoral fate of the 209 candidates, of whom 15 are women. In 2013, only six women had contested and none were successful.
Mizoram's Joint Chief Electoral Officer Zorammuana told IANS that no untoward incident has been reported so far from anywhere in the state.
Besides the two national parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), many regional and local parties have fielded candidates in most of the 40 assembly constituencies. They include the main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF), People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and Meghalaya-based National People's Party (NPP).
However, the main contest is likely to be between the ruling Congress and the MNF. Both the parties have fielded 40 candidates each. The BJP has fielded candidates in 39 constituencies.
Except for 10 years -- 1998-2003 and 2003-2008 -- the Congress has been in power in Mizoram since it became a full-fledged state in 1987.
Votes will be counted on December 11 along with four other poll-bound states -- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh.

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