MNF sweeps local body polls in Mizoram

It won 50 of the 59 councils where elections were held on Thursday

The Mizo National Front (MNF) swept the Aizawl Municipal Council polls on Friday, winning 50 of the 59 local bodies where elections were held on Thursday.

The Congress, which had won most of the local councils five years ago, only managed four this time, while the principal Opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) got just one. Independents won the four remaining councils where elections were held.

Officials of the State Election Council (SEC), Mizoram, said the outcome of the polls for the 558 village councils was being awaited. They said 60.34% of a total of 1,50,687 voters – excluding those in the containment zones – had cast their votes compared to 68.35% in 2015.

Unlike Assam and Arunachal Pradesh where a tribal council and panchayat election respectively were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mizoram government decided to go ahead with the polls despite protests from the Congress and other political parties.

“There are 83 councils in [State capital] Aizawl, but elections were held in 59 councils, as 24 local councils had been declared containment zones following some cases of infection. Elections were held in a total of 381 seats in these 59 councils, 279 of which were general and 102 reserved,” a senior SEC officer said.

The MNF, which had won 27 of the 40 Assembly seats in 2018 to end the Congress’s 10-year rule, bagged 262 local council seats. The Congress won 84 seats and the ZPM 23.

SEC officials had on Thursday said 64.36% of the voters had exercised their franchise across 550 of the 558 village councils were elections were held. Polling was deferred in eight village councils that were declared containment zones.

The MNF is a constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance, an anti-Congress forum helmed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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