Aizawl, Oct 12 (IANS) An Election Commission team headed by its chief Om Prakash Rawat would visit poll-bound Mizoram on October 16 to study the preparedness of the November 28 assembly elections, an official said on Friday.
“The full Election Commission team headed by Chief Election Commissioner Rawat would be on a two-day tour starting Tuesday,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer of Mizoram Pi Lalzarmawii told IANS.
She said Rawat, accompanied by two Election Commissioners — Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa – would separately meet leaders of all political parties, District Magistrates, Superintendents of Police, besides the officials involved with state election machinery.
The single-phase election to the 40-member Mizoram assembly would be held on November 28. The statutory notification would be issued on November 2 and the last date for filing nominations is November 9.
Meanwhile, the ruling Congress on Thursday has announced the names of 36 candidates for the upcoming polls dropping eight sitting MLAs and fielding 12 new faces.
State Congress president and Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla will contest from two constituencies — his home turf Serchhip and Champhai South.
Among the 36 candidates, four are below 40 years, eight are between 41 and 50 years, 14 in the age group of 51 to 60, four are between 61 and 70 years and five candidates, including Lal Thanhawla, are above 70 years.
Both Congress and main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) led by party President and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga have already begun their election campaign.
The ruling Congress recently suffered a setback after state Home Minister and senior party leader R Lalzirliana and sitting legislator Lalrinliana Sailo resigned from the party.
The Congress subsequently expelled both the leaders from the party for “anti-party activities”.
Sources in the MNF said both the Congress deserters are likely to be the candidates of MNF, a local party, which ruled the state for two terms (1998-2003 and 2003-2008).
Bharatiya Janata Party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav has already announced that his party would likely field candidates in all the 40 assembly seats, but the party might forge an alliance with the like-minded parties in a post-poll scenario.
Mizoram is the only state under the Congress rule in northeast India, comprising eight states.
The saffron party has been making concerted efforts to win the Christian dominated state, after having formed governments on its own or joining hands with allies in the remaining six northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.
As many as 768,181 people out of the total population of 10,91,014 (2011 Census) are eligible to cast their votes in Mizoram elections.
Women once again outnumber men in Mizoram’s electoral rolls. Of the total 768,181 voters, as many as 393,685 are women and 374,496 men.
In the last assembly elections in 2013 out of 40 seats, Congress won 34 seats.