Mizoram gearing up for state assembly polls

Aizawl, Sep 13 (IANS) The state election machinery is being geared up for polling to the 40-member state assembly, expected to be held November, Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashwini Kumar said.

"Training of state- and district-level officials, checking of electronic voting machines, apprisal of political parties about the Election Commission guidelines were being conducted as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India (ECI)," Ashwini Kumar told reporters here Thursday evening.

He said: "Some new methods like restriction on the election campaign and strategic deployment of security would be taken up to ensure free and fair polls in the state."

The official said that static surveillance teams, flying squads, expenditure and accounting monitoring cells and video surveillance teams would be pressed into service before and during the elections.

The CEO said Mizoram's international border with Myanmar and Bangladesh would be sealed well ahead of the polls.

The mountainous northeastern state will go to polls to elct its new legislative assembly in November along with Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

The poll panel has fixed Rs.8 lakh as the maximum limit for election expenses to be incurred by individual candidates during polls.

During the last assembly elections in December 2008, the Congress won 32 seats, Mizo National Front (MNF) three, and the Maraland Democratic Front one.

The United Democratic Alliance's constituents - Mizoram People's Conference and Zoram Nationalist Party - got two seats each.

The MNF, which ruled the state for 10 years until 2008, is the principal opposition party.

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