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  India   Politics  08 Nov 2023  77% Vote in Mizoram, 71% in Chhattisgarh in Phase 1

77% Vote in Mizoram, 71% in Chhattisgarh in Phase 1

THE ASIAN AGE WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Nov 8, 2023, 12:57 am IST
Updated : Nov 8, 2023, 12:57 am IST

Brief exchange of fire took place between naxalites and security personnel near the Banda polling station in Sukma district

A voter shows her finger marked with indelible ink after casting her vote for Mizoram Assembly elections, in Mamit district, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (PTI)
 A voter shows her finger marked with indelible ink after casting her vote for Mizoram Assembly elections, in Mamit district, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. (PTI)

New Delhi/Guwahati/Kanker: The fates of former chief minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh and incumbent Mizoram CM Zoramthanga were sealed in the EVM as two states voted on Tuesday. The poll percentage in Mizoram, where polling for 40 seats in the state Assembly took place in a single phase, was over 77 per cent. In Chhattisgarh, where voting took place for 20 of the 90 Assembly seats in the Naxal-affected areas, the provisional poll percentage in the first phase was 71 per cent.

Voting began on Tuesday morning in the first phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh under a heavy security deployment of police and paramilitary personnel. However, an IED blast triggered by naxalites and three different encounters between them and security personnel marred the first phase of polling, officials said.

During the area domination operation in Sukma district, a CRPF commando of the elite CoBRA unit was injured in the IED blast triggered by naxalites.

According to police, a brief exchange of fire also took place between naxalites and security personnel near the Banda polling station in Sukma district.

An AK-47 rifle was recovered after an encounter between naxalites and security personnel in Kanker district, where polling is being held in the first phase of the state Assembly elections, the officials said.

Another encounter took place between security forces and naxalites in the Orchha police station area of Narayanpur district.

The next phase of polling in Chhattisgarh will take place on November 17 for the remaining 70 seats. Some of the prominent leaders in the fray in the first phase are senior BJP leader Mr Singh, state Congress president Deepak Baij, and deputy speaker Santram Netamand.

In the 40-member Mizoram Assembly elections, over 77 per cent of the electorate came out to exercise their franchise. The voting percentage is likely to touch 80 per cent as final reports are yet to come from far-flung districts.   

The frontier state is witnessing a four-cornered contest between the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), the Congress and the BJP.

Polling came to an end at about 4 pm. No incidents of violence were reported from any parts of the state. Though there were a few incidents of the EVM malfunctioning in a few polling stations that delayed the start of the exercise, CM Zoramthanga had to defer casting his vote as the EVM was not working when he reached the polling station in the morning.

There are 174 candidates in the fray. The ruling MNF, the main Opposition party ZPM and the Congress have fielded candidates in all 40 seats. While the BJP and the AAP have fielded 23 and 4 candidates, respectively. Besides, 27 Independent candidates are also in the fray. A total of 174 candidates are in the fray for the Mizoram polls.

In the morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters in Chhattisgarh and Mizoram to exercise their franchise and congratulated the first-time voters.

In his message for voters in Chhattisgarh, Mr Modi urged them to be a part of the democracy's "auspicious" festival by casting their votes in the first round of polls.

The Prime Minister also appealed to people in Mizoram to come out and vote in record numbers. "I call upon the people of Mizoram to vote in record numbers. I particularly urge the young and first-time voters to exercise their franchise and strengthen the festival of democracy," the PM said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reiterated the party's "guarantees" to the people and called for the return of its "trustworthy" government in Chhattisgarh.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "Chhattisgarhiya sable badhiya! Today the first phase of voting has started in Chhattisgarh state. We appeal to every voter, especially the youth who are voting for the first time, to vote."

Also, the Congress claimed that Mr Modi's announcement of a five-year extension of the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was a "blatant violation" of the model code of conduct as it was made in the midst of the Chhattisgarh election campaign. The party also asked if the Election Commission would take note of it and act.

Tags: mizoram chief minister zoramthanga, chattisgarh cm raman singh, chhattisgarh assembly election, mizoram assembly elections