Youth, women dominate Mizoram’s electoral politics

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Aizawl, April 10 (IANS) Young voters, who constitute around 64 per cent of the total 787,777 electorate, will dominate the electoral politics of Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha seat which goes to the polls on Thursday, officials and political analysts said here on Wednesday.

Women voters would also play a significant role in the parliamentary polls.

Women voters again outnumbered men in Mizoram. Of the total, 4,04,169 are women and 3,83,602 men. There are six third gender voters.

Mizoram Chief Electoral officer Ashish Kundra said that the young voters in the age group of 18 to 40 years, constitute 63.68 per cent of the total 787,777 electorate.

Besides, the election to the lone Lok Sabha seat, by-polls for the Aizawl West-1 Assembly seat will also take place on Thursday.

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The by-election to the Aizawl West-1 Assembly seat was necessitated after Zoram People’s Movement’s (ZPM) legislator Lalduhoma vacated it to retain his Serchhip constituency.

The electoral fate of all six candidates, including independent woman aspirant Lalthlamuani, will be decided on Thursday’s parliamentary polls.

Though women voters outnumber men in the Lok Sabha seat, it’s the first time that a woman has joined the race to challenge the hegemony of men to represent Mizoram in the lower house of parliament.

Lalthlamuani, a Jew leader, has four children and runs a non-government organisation (NGO) called Chhinlung Israel People Convention (CIPC).

The parliamentary constituency in Mizoram, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, is set for a multi-cornered contest.

However, according to political analysts, the main contest is between ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) candidate C. Lalrosanga and Lalnghingolva Hmar, jointly fielded by the opposition Congress and Zoram People’s Movement’s (ZPM), a local party.

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While Hmar, a young sports journalist, is honorary Secretary of the Mizoram Football Association, Lalrosanga was a former Indian Broadcasting Programme Service officer who retired two years back as Director General of Doordarshan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded veteran tribal leader Nirupam Chakma, a former Congress minister who joined the BJP a few years ago.

People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (Prism) — an anti-corruption watchdog turned political party — has nominated T.B.C. Lalvenchhunga, a young retired Naval officer.

Lal Hriatrenga Chhangte, another independent, makes it a six-cornered contest.

Of the total 1,175 polling stations, 117 will be manned by only women officials, polling and security personnel.

Chief Electoral officer Ashish Kundra said that following the instructions of the Election Commission, 15 special polling stations have been set up at the Mizoram-Tripura border village of Kanhmun, where 12,081 tribal refugee voters would cast their votes.

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The poll panel has also asked the Tripura government to provide logistical support including transportation and security to the Reang tribal voters from their seven relief camps in northern Tripura to Kanhmun village in Mizoram on Thursday.

The 12,081 tribal refugee voters are among the 35,000 emigrants living in the seven relief camps in northern Tripura for the past 22 years after they fled their homes in three Mizoram districts in the wake of communal tension.

–IANS

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