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52.8 per cent polling till 3 pm in Mizoram
Turnout for elections to Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat has just reached 52.8 per cent by 3 pm on Friday, Jt CEO Lalengmawia said, as people queued up from early in the morning at polling stations.
Although Mizoram witnesses high voter turnout for state assembly polls with the 80 per cent mark crossed in the last three state polls, turnout has been less in Lok Sabha polls and hit an all-time low of 51 per cent in 2009.
State Chief Electoral Officer Ashwani Kumar said the turnout would be higher than 50.93 per cent recorded in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls but it might not reach 83.41 per cent as in the 2013 state Assembly polls.
Polling was completely peaceful in the 1,126 polling stations across the state, he said.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla expressed hope that Congress candidates would win both the Lok Sabha and Hrangturzo Assembly seats.
Talking to reporters after exercising his franchise at the Zarkawt Polling Station-II in Aizawl, Lal Thanhawla said, “In Hrangurzo seat, our candidate would receive more votes than I did during the 2013 Assembly elections.”
Meanwhile, ruling Congress candidate C L Ruala for the lone Lok Sabha seat alleged that money power was extensively used by one of his opponent, Robert Romawia Royte of the United Democratic Front (UDF), an independent nominee sponsored by the eight opposition party combine.
Royte denied the charge and hoped that he would win the elections, especially if the voter turnout was more than 70 per cent.
Except for technical snags with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system, EVMs were functioning properly, state election department officials said. Seven VVPAT machines had to be replaced, they said