In a bustling day of democracy in India, two states, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, witnessed the commencement of their respective assembly elections.
Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections – Phase 1:
The southern region of Chhattisgarh played host to the first phase of the assembly elections, encompassing 20 constituencies. With the polls kicking off at 7 am, stringent security measures were put in place to ensure the safety of voters and the smooth functioning of the election process.
The initial round of voting involved ten constituencies, including Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur, and Konta. Simultaneously, polling for the remaining assembly seats, such as Pandaria, Kawardha, Khairagarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur, and Chitrakote, was scheduled to commence at 8 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.
Chhattisgarh is conducting its elections in two phases, with the second phase set for November 17. In this first phase, 20 constituencies, out of a total of 90 in the state, are up for grabs, including 12 from the Bastar division. The electorate comprises 40,78,681 registered voters, with 19,93,937 being male voters and 20,84,675 being female voters. Notably, 13 out of the 20 seats are reserved for SC/STs, reflecting the state's commitment to ensuring equitable representation for these communities. In total, Chhattisgarh designates 29 seats for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and 10 seats for Scheduled Castes (SCs).
The first phase of voting featured a range of candidates vying for their respective constituencies. Notable figures, such as former Chief Minister Raman Singh, were seeking re-election, alongside State Minister Kawasi Lakhma, running again from Konta.
In the 2018 elections, the Congress secured victory in 17 out of the 20 seats participating in this phase, while the BJP and Ajit Jogi's party each clinched two and one seat, respectively. The 2023 elections saw the Congress replace six of its sitting MLAs, with Savita Mandavi, the wife of the late MLA Manoj Mandavi, contesting from Bhanupratappur.
The Election Commission of India reported a total of 2,03,80,079 voters for the 90-member assembly, including 19,839 service voters and 790 gender voters, and 1,60,955 persons with disabilities voters.
Mizoram Assembly Elections:
Simultaneously, in Mizoram, voting for the assembly elections got underway, with results scheduled for counting on December 3. The electoral process commenced at 7 am and is set to conclude at 3 pm.
A total of 174 candidates were in the fray for the Mizoram Assembly elections. Mizoram's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) reported that the state had a total of 8,51,895 electors, with 4,12,969 being male, 4,38,925 female, and 1 third gender. Additionally, there were 4,973 service voters in Mizoram. Notably, first-time voters in the 18-19 age group stood at 50,611. The sex ratio of voters in Mizoram was reported at 1,063, and the electoral population (EP) ratio stood at 63.27. The state had a total of 1,276 polling stations, with 525 in urban areas and 751 in rural areas.
Mizoram had already witnessed home voting and postal ballots, with 2,058 votes cast through home voting and 7,497 through postal ballots at designated facilitation centers for the assembly elections.
The Mizoram Assembly, consisting of 40 members, presented a unique political landscape, with the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not being the primary contenders. In the 2018 elections, the Mizo National Front (MNF) emerged victorious, securing 26 seats with a vote share of 37.8%, effectively ending the 10-year rule of the Congress government. The Zoram Peoples Movement (ZPM), a regional party, bagged eight seats and was considered a significant challenger to the ruling party. The Congress secured five seats, and the BJP secured its first seat in the state.
The MNF is part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but opted not to form a pre-poll alliance with its partner in the state. The BJP was contesting in 23 seats this time, compared to 39 in 2018.
The incumbent Chief Minister, Zoramthanga, and the State Congress Chief, Lalswata, were among the prominent candidates seeking re-election. Lalduhoma, the founder and president of the Zoram Nationalist Party, was also in the fray.