In Mizoram, Congress will fight tooth and nail to save its last bastion in the North-East from falling. In the Christian dominated state, BJP’s pro-Hindutva image has done it any service and any party that is seen canoodling with the saffron party. Incumbent Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s tenure ends on December 15. Congress, the Mizo National Front (MNF), the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), and the Bharatiya Janata Party are the main political parties in the battle for Mizoram.
Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram Assembly Elections – LIVE updates
11:50 am: Voter turnout in Mizoram is at 29 percent till 11 am, as per ANI. In 2013 State Assembly Elections, the north-eastern state saw 89 percent voter turnout. Meanwhile in MP, 13.63% voter turnout was recorded till 11.15 am.
11:10 am: Special arrangements have been made to facilitate voting by members of the Bru community. Food and transport facilities are also being provided to those coming to cast votes. Violence between Mizo and Bru tribes broke out in 1997, following which many Bru families were forced to flee their home state and take shelter in the neighbouring Tripura.
10:44 am: After a person was arrested after BJP polling agents were found carrying campaign material within 200 meters of a polling booth in MP, another case of violation of section 126 of the Representation of People Act, 1951. The Election Commision is expected to look into the matter.
10: 30 am: After initial reports of multiple Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) not working, over 100 EVMs have been replaced, chief electoral officer V Kantha Rao was quoted by reports as saying.
10:19 am: Earlier, Kamal Nath after casting his vote in Chhindwara said, “I have full faith in the people of Madhya Pradesh, they are simple and innocent people who have been robbed for a long time by BJP”.
In true democratic spirit, a 101-year-old woman was spotted outside the polling booth in Agar Malwa in MP after exercising her franchise:
10:02 am: In violation of election code of conduct, a person was apprehended after BJP’s polling agents were caught with campaign material within 200 meters of a polling booth in MP.
9:50 am: Mizoram has witnessed 15 percent voting till 9 am, as per ANI. The voting in the North-eastern state started at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm. Mizoram’s borders with neighbouring Tripura, Assam and Manipur as well as international borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh have been sealed since Sunday for elections.
9:37 am: After claiming yesterday that there is pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency in the state, CM Shivraj Chouhan after casting his vote in Budhni on Wednesday said he is confident that BJP will form the government with absolute majority. “We’re 100% certain that BJP will form the government with an absolute majority. We have set a target of 200 seats and our lakhs of volunteers are working to make it a reality,” he told ANI.
9:22 am: There have been reports of EVMs not working in some of the booths in MP. Two faulty EVMs in Ujjain have been replaced, 11 VVPAT machines in Alirajpur, 5 VVPAT and 2 EVMs in Burhanpur also replaced. It was earlier reported that EVM at polling booth number 178 in Dabra, Gwalior district is not working.
9:03 am: In MP, a total of 5,04,95,251 voters will cast their votes to decide the fate of 2,907 candidates. Voting in three Maoist-affected seats Lanji, Paraswada and Baihar began at 7 am and will continue till 3 pm while the polling in the remaining 227 seats began at 8 am and will continue till 5 pm.
8:48 am: Congress leader Kamal Nath cast his vote in Chhindwara while MP minister and BJP leader Yashodhara Raje Scindia cast her vote at a polling station in Shivpuri. She is up against Congress’ Siddharth Lada.
8:34 am: Mizoram has 7,70,395 registered electors who will vote in 1,164 polling booths across the state. Nearly 209 candidates are in the fray. Here are some visuals of voters as they exercise their franchise:
8:22 am: Both BJP and Congress leaders made temple runs as polling began in MP. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered prayers on banks of Narmada river in Budhni with his wife Sadhna Singh. Meanwhile, Congress leader Kamal Nath made his obeisance at Hanuman temple in Chhindwara.
8:13 am: Polling in Maoist-affected constituencies began early in Madhya Pradesh while voting in the rest of the state started at 8 am. The most-watched seat today is CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Budhni. He is pitted against Congress’ Arun Yadav there.
8:03 am: In Mizoram, all booths will be connected wirelessly leaving no “shadow areas”. The state has a hilly terrain which makes access to certain locations difficult. Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police earlier Joseph Lalchhuana earlier told PTI the move will help in timely reporting of the progress in polls.
7:45 am: On the eve of MP polls, Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is the longest-serving chief minister of the state told PTI that pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency is at play in the state. “What is at work here is pro-incumbency and not anti-incumbency,” said the 59-year-old BJP leader, whose party has been in power in the state since 2003,” he told PTI.
7:30 am: Voting in MP will begin at 8 am. About 500 ‘pink’ polling booths all across MP which will completely be managed by all-woman staff. From presiding officers till security guards, these booths will have all women staff.