The decision to revise the counting date comes amid protests in the state. (Representational)
The Election Commission of India has revised the date for counting of votes in Mizoram Assembly elections. The results were earlier scheduled to be announced on December 3.
The date for results has been pushed by a day to December 4. The decision to revise the counting date comes amid protests in the state organised by Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC).
The group earlier expressed displeasure over December 3 as the counting date falls on Sunday, a sacred day for Christians.
The Election Commission said they received several representations from various groups in the state requesting for a change in the counting date on the ground that it falls on Sunday, a sacred day in Mizoram.
The Election Commission categorically stated that there is no change in any event or schedule of Assembly Elections of Mizoram or in any other state.
Congress's Jairam Ramesh said the parties contesting the Mizoram election had asked for the date of counting to be shifted in the northeastern state from December 3 to the next day and said the "representations were made earlier but the Election Commission remained silent".
Five states - Mizoram, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana went to polls, which is being viewed as the semi-final to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Voting in Mizoram was conducted in a single phase on November 7. Mizoram has 40 Assembly seats and the majority mark is 21. Counting in other states will be as per schedule on December 3.
Mizoram is expected to witness a high-stakes close battle between the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) founded by former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Lalduhoma and the Mizo National Front (MNF) of Zoramthanga, who was once a leader of an insurgent group.
The ZPM was formed by merging six parties to take on Zoramthanga, the Chief Minister who was a guerilla fighting the Indian military before joining politics.
Zoramthanga's Mizo National Front (MNF) is in a close-fight with the ZPM. The incumbent MNF government is hoping to stay in power, while the ZPM may give a tough fight to the MNF, NDTV's Poll of Polls suggested.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has exuded confidence and said, "There will be no hung assembly in Mizoram and we will form the government."
NDTV's Poll of Polls suggest that the ZPM may win 17 seats, taking a lead against the MNF which is projected to get 14 seats in the 40-member Assembly.
The Congress is projected to win seven seats and could be a king-maker in the close contest of Mizoram. All the exit polls for Mizoram gave the BJP a maximum of two seats.
Warning: Exit Polls often get it wrong