Polling begins in Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram

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Polling began in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on Wednesday, the Congress is seeking to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been in power in for the last 15 years, while in Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla is seeking a third consecutive term as the BJP looks to uproot the Congress in its last bastion in the Northeast.

Amid tight security, voting for 230 assembly seats began in Madhya Pradesh. 

Over 1.80 lakh security personnel have been deployed on duty to ensure peaceful polling in the state, 

The BJP led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh is seeking a fourth term in power. Chouhan, who has been in power since 2005, says his achievements — growth rate of 10 per cent, agricultural growth rate of 20 per cent and a five-fold rise in per capita income – will help him get a fourth term.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan offered prayers on the banks of the Narmada river, in Budhni. He faces Congress candidate Arun Yadav.

Polling to elect a new government in Mizoram began at 7 am for 40-member legislative assembly.

In all 768,181 voters, including 393,685 women, would decide the electoral fate of the 209 candidates. The state with a population of about 10 lakh, including nearly 7.68 lakh voters.

Apart from two national parties, the Congress and the BJP, many regional and local parties have fielded candidates in most of the 40 assembly constituencies. They include Mizo National Front (MNF), People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Meghalaya-based National People’s Party (NPP).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested people of Mizoram to cast their votes.

“I request my sisters and brothers of Mizoram, particularly the dynamic youth of the state, to turnout in large numbers and vote,” Modi tweeted.

BJP Chief Amit Shah tweeted, “As voting in Mizoram begins, I appeal all my sisters and brothers of state to turnout in record numbers and vote. Your one vote will lay the foundation of a prosperous and corruption free Mizoram.”

As many as 2,899 candidates, including 1,094 independents, are in the fray for the 230 seats, but the main contest is between the Congress and BJP.

The counting of votes for Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram will take place on December 11.