Aizawl, Dec 4 (IANS): The counting of votes for Mizoram Assembly polls began on Monday morning amid elaborate security arrangements in all 11 districts of the state.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer H. Lianzela said that initially, postal ballots are being counted and then, the counting of votes polled through the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be taken up.
Over 4,000 officials including women are engaged in the counting process. These officials are posted at 40 counting halls under 13 centres in 11 districts to count the votes, the official told IANS.
Director General of Police, Anil Shukla said that adequate security measures have been taken for the smooth conduct of the counting process.
Adequate contingents of Central Armed Police Forces and Mizoram Armed Police have been deployed across the state to maintain law and order.
More than 80 per cent of the 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise to decide the electoral fate of 174 candidates, including 16 women.
The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the main Opposition Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) and the Congress have fielded candidates from all 40 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is contesting on four seats.
The BJP has fielded candidates on 23 seats with a special focus on linguistic minority inhabited areas, especially where the Reang and Chakma tribal communities are in reasonable numbers in the voters' list.
Besides them, 27 independent candidates are also in the fray.
The counting of votes was earlier scheduled on Sunday in the Christian-majority state (87 per cent) but after repeated appeals by all political parties, NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, churches, youth and student bodies including the influential Young Mizo Association (YMA), the Election Commission of India (ECI) rescheduled the counting to Monday.
Polling for the 40-member Mizoram assembly was held on November 7.