The final hours before the counting of votes for the Mizoram Assembly elections are fraught with anticipation and speculation. The exit polls have indicated a potential upper hand for the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), which is part of the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP. However, given the multi-cornered contest this year, the actual results expected on December 4 may hold unexpected outcomes.
Exit Polls and Anticipated Outcomes
The election, held on November 7, saw a commendable voter turnout of 80.43%, reflecting the political fervour in the state. The race was a competitive one, primarily among the MNF, the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), and the Congress. The BJP also participated, albeit in a reduced number of constituencies.
According to the India Today-My Axis India exit poll, ZPM's vote share in the assembly election is predicted to touch 49 per cent, with the party securing possibly 28-35 seats in the 40-member assembly. The MNF, on the other hand, may get a 27 per cent vote share. The Congress and the BJP are expected to secure fewer seats, with predictions standing at 2-4 and 0-2 seats, respectively.
Postponement of Vote Counting
Originally scheduled for December 3, the counting was postponed by a day to avoid conflict with Sunday church services, following requests from various groups. This decision highlights the respect for religious sentiments in the state, where Christians form the majority population.
Political Future at Stake
The results will determine the political future for 174 candidates. The MNF, led by current Chief Minister Zoramthanga, is hopeful to retain power. They have been emphasizing their response to regional refugee crises and advocating for 'Zo reunification.' The ZPM and Congress, on the other hand, have also expressed confidence in their respective prospects, with the possibility of a hung assembly not being ruled out.
The MNF seeks to defend its 2018 victory where it ousted a decade-long Congress regime, while the ZPM is looking to capitalize on its growing popularity and recent municipal election wins. As Mizoram awaits the results, the political landscape hangs in the balance, set to be shaped by the will of its people.