The formalisation of Mizoram State took place on 20th February, 1987. It was the outcome of the Accord singed between the Mizo Nationalist Front led by Laldenga and the Union Government on 30 June 1986. It is divided in 8 administrative districts and 40 assembly segments. As per the latest revision there are 6,86,305 voters in Mizoram who will cast their votes on 1126 polling stations.
THE polls to elect the 40-member state assembly in thinly populated Mizoram was caught up in a broil on election and counting dates itself. Originally Elections Commission of India declared voting on December 4 and counting on December 8, now it is rescheduled to November 25 and December 9 respectively. Various political parties, religious groups and NGOs had written to the Chief Electoral Officer, requesting him to reschedule the election and vote counting as the dates clashed with the annual gathering of the Presbyterians and Pentecostals, religious groups which form the largest denominations in the state. According to church leaders, about 6,000 people would be attending the gathering which would prevent them from casting their vote.
After the issue is settled down, now there are 141 candidates in the fray for the Assembly elections. Though main fight is between ruling Congress and MNP, NCP and BJP is also contenting on key regional and national issues.
Incumbent Congress in trouble on Key Issues
There is a widespread perception of corruption delays and suspensions of government projects, which are clearly stall tactics and have received attention and huge criticism from people and various groups. The high literacy rate Mizoram has very low employment rate with 70 per cent of population still dependent on agriculture. Though incumbent government has assured of implement New Land Use Policy (NLUP) and various policies to develop both land and water routes for trade, people are now convinced due to laxity in the last 5 years.
Illegal immigration from Nepal, Bangladesh and especially Myanmar is another key issue in elections. There are around 100,000 ethnic Chins from Myanmar in Mizoram, who are entering India for two decades to escape massive human rights abuse in western Myanmar. Another sensitive issue of Reang refugees who have returned from Tripura will also affect the results.
Women issues always find prominent place in Mizo elections as women outnumbered men in the states voters list. The opposition Mizo National Front-Mizoram Peoples’ Conference combine is rake up Mizoram Divorce Ordinance, 2008 promulgation issue against the Congress.
Inter tribe rivalry, Mizo domination, politics within the Church and drug abuse amongst the youth are other pertinent issues which will have a impact on the voting pattern in the state.
Though this South-eastern corner of the seven sisters is neglected in the ongoing assembly elections, trends in this state also can show up anti-incumbency against the Congress.