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Mizoram poll campaign ends
November 18, 2003 21:04 IST
The campaigning for the November 20 election to the 40-member Mizoram legislative assembly came to an end at 1600 hours on Tuesday.
The campaigning, mostly confined to public meetings, saw top national leaders like Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party president M Venkaiah Naidu and several Union ministers addressing rallies.
With no major issues, except for the controversy over the voting rights of the Bru tribals, campaigning was low-key.
Chief Minister Zoramthanga; former chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Lalthanhawla; Mizoram People's Conference chief and opposition leader, Lalhmingthanga; and Zoram Nationalist Party president, Lalduhawma were mostly confined to their respective constituencies.
Zoramthanga, Lalthanhawla and Lalduhawma are contesting from two constituencies each. Zoramthanga is contesting from Champhai and Kolasib, while Lalthanhawla is contesting from Serchhip and is pitted against Zoramthanga in Champhai.
Lalduhawma is contesting from Ratu and Aizawl South-II constituencies, while his poll ally MPC chief Lalhmingthanga is seeking election from Lunglei south constituency.
Altogether, 192 candidates are in the fray, with the ruling Mizo National Front contesting from 39 constituencies and the Congress fielding candidates from all 40 seats.
MPC-ZNP combine has put up candidates in 36 constituencies and is supporting four candidates belonging to smaller parties in the South Mizoram's undivided Chhimtuipui district.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer C Lalchhuana said the election machinery is fully geared for the November 20 poll. He said polling officials for remote places have left for their respective polling stations.
Aizawl Superintendent of Police I T Hrangchal said elaborate security arrangements have been made for free and fair elections and 15 companies of central para-military forces have been deployed in addition to the state police force.
Out of a total 798 polling stations spread over eight districts, 57 have been declared sensitive.