New Delhi: Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are holding the first phase of their assembly elections today, November 7, 2023, amid tight security.
In Chhattisgarh, 20 out of 90 seats are going to polls, while in Mizoram, all 40 seats are up for grabs.
The main contenders in Chhattisgarh are the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP, while in Mizoram, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) is facing a challenge from the Congress and the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM).
Some of the key points of the elections are:
- The 20 seats are spread across the Naxal-affected Bastar division and four other districts, including Rajnandgaon, the home turf of former Chief Minister Raman Singh.
- The polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in 10 seats and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the remaining 10 seats.
- A total of 223 candidates are in the fray, including former CM Raman Singh, state Congress chief and MP Deepak Baij, three ministers of the Congress government, four former ministers of the BJP, and a former IAS officer.
- Out of the 20 seats, 12 are reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and one for the Scheduled Caste (SC) category.
- In the 2018 elections, the Congress had won 18 out of these 20 seats, while the BJP had won only two.
- The Congress has fielded its senior OBC leader and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation Chairman Girish Dewangan against Raman Singh from Rajnandgaon.
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is contesting elections in the state, has fielded state president Komal Hupendi from the Bhanupratappur seat.
- Congress MLA Anoop Nag, who was denied a ticket by the party, is contesting as an independent candidate from his current Antagarh seat.
- There are 40,78,681 voters in the first phase, including 19,93,937 male, 20,84,675 female, and 69 third-gender voters.
- A total of 21,059 EVMs are being used for the first phase of elections in the state.
- Extensive security arrangements have been made for peaceful voting in the state, with 60,000 security forces, including 40,000 Central Armed Police Forces personnel, deployed in the Naxal-affected areas.
- The webcasting facility will be available in 2,431 out of the total 4,582 polling stations in the state.
- The 40 seats are spread across eight districts of the state, with the highest number of seats (11) in Aizawl district.
- The polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in all the seats.
- A total of 174 candidates are in the fray, including 15 women candidates.
- The main contenders are the ruling MNF, the opposition Congress, and the ZPM, which is an alliance of seven regional parties.
- In the 2018 elections, the MNF had won 26 seats, while the Congress had won only five and the ZPM had won eight.
- The MNF is led by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who is seeking a second term in office.
- The Congress is led by former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who is contesting from two seats – Serchhip and Champhai South.
- The ZPM is led by former Lok Sabha member Lalduhoma, who is contesting from Serchhip against Lal Thanhawla and from Aizawl West-I against Zoramthanga.
- There are 8,57,879 voters in the state, including 4,39,169 male and 4,18,710 female voters.
- A total of 1,276 EVMs are being used for the elections in the state.
- Tight security arrangements have been made for the elections in the state, with 10,000 security personnel, including 6,000 Central Armed Police Forces personnel, deployed in the state.
- The webcasting facility will be available in 300 out of the total 1,276 polling stations in the state.