Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar, during the press conference in which he announced the schedule for assembly elections in 5 states. | PTI
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday, during a press conference, announced the schedule for assembly elections in Mizoram. The elections in the state will be conducted on November 7. The date of counting is scheduled for December 3 and the final date for completion of the election is set for December 5.
In 2018, Mizoram held elections for its 40 assembly seats on November 28. In 2018 polls, Mizoram witnessed an impressive voter turnout of 81.5 percent. The Mizo National Front (MNF) emerged victorious and formed the government. The current term of the Mizoram assembly is set to conclude on December 17.
Significance of these assembly polls
Along with Mizoram 4 more states are going on polls, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh. Assembly Elections in these states will set the stage for the upcoming 2024 national elections.
During the Conference, the Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar informed that, “Polls in these 5 states hold a unique significance as they serve as the final assembly elections before the grand stage of the National Elections in 2024. ECI will ensure free, fair and inducement free elections in these five states.”
In these five states which are going on polls there are a total of 679 assembly constituencies, which constitute approximately one-sixth of the total Legislative Assembly Constituencies (LACs) in the country. These constituencies are home to a staggering 16 crore electors, representing nearly one-sixth of the entire electorate in the nation.
The electoral rolls in these states represent a diverse cross-section of the population, with approximately 8.24 crore male voters and 7.88 crore female voters. Additionally, there are over 32,000 centenarian voters and 17.35 lakhs Persons with Disabilities (PwD) voters. Notably, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram have more female voters than male voters, while Telangana boasts an equal gender balance.
MNF Vs ZPM; the major rivals
On Wednesday, the MNF announced its candidate list. Chief Minister Zoramthanga has announced his candidacy for the Aizawl East-I constituency, a seat he successfully secured in the 2018 assembly elections. Notably, the MNF’s candidate list features the inclusion of two women and introduces 15 new faces to the political landscape.
As of now, the MNF holds 28 seats in the assembly, making it the majority party. The primary opposition, the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), currently has six Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), while the Congress party holds five seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has one.
60 lakh people will vote for first time
These elections will witness the participation of around 60 lakh first-time voters aged 18-19 years, thanks to an amendment in qualifying dates. In an effort to engage and inspire young voters, more than 2900 polling stations will be managed by youth volunteers.
The commissioner said that the ECI has undertaken a comprehensive review of preparations in these five states, holding detailed meetings with Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs), Superintendent of Police and Law and Order (SPNO), District and State Administration officials, as well as multiple central and state Enforcement Agencies.
EC’s steps to enhance election experience
During the second Special Summary Revision (SSR), there were over 57.9 lakh additions, 20.6 lakh deletions, and 22.35 lakh modifications made in the electoral rolls of the five states. Importantly, no deletions were made without field verification, and any significant deletions exceeding 2% of the total electors in the voters’ list of a polling station will be personally cross-verified by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).
The Election Commission has taken steps to enhance the voting experience by setting up 17,734 Model Polling Stations. Furthermore, 621 polling stations will be managed by staff with disabilities, and 8,192 polling stations will be led by female officials.
To ensure that elections remain free, fair, and free from inducements, the cooperation and awareness of citizens are crucial. The ECI has introduced the cVigil App, allowing citizens to report any electoral malpractices. They have committed to responding to each complaint within 100 minutes.
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