Aizawl, Dec 4 (IANS): The initial trends from Mizoram on Monday showed a close contest between the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and the opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) for the 40-member Assembly .
The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) was leading in 11 seats and the opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) candidates was ahead in 12 seats.
The opposition Congress was leading in five seats while the BJP was ahead in one seat (Saiha).
The counting of votes for the Mizoram Assembly polls began at 8 a.m. amid elaborate security arrangements in all 11 districts of the state.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer H. Lianzela said that initially, postal ballots were counted and then the counting of votes polled through the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) was taken up.
Over 4,000 officials, including women, were engaged in the counting process. These officials are posted at 40 counting halls under 13 centres in 11 districts, the official told IANS.
Director General of Police, Anil Shukla said that adequate security measures were in place 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 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 good numbers in the voters' list.
Besides them, 27 independent candidates are also in the fray.