The voting took place in the 20 constituencies of the Chhattisgarh Assembly election, while Mizoram went to vote for its all assembly seats – 40 constituencies. Chhattisgarh witnessed some incidents of violence, whereas in Mizoram no such incident was reported.
In the 2023 Assembly elections, the first phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, covering 20 constituencies, and the single-phase election in Mizoram, comprising all 40 seats, have concluded. The voting day saw varying circumstances in the two states.
In Chhattisgarh, sporadic incidents of violence occurred in areas such as Sukma, Narayanpur, Bijapur, and Kanker districts during the voting process. In contrast, Mizoram witnessed a peaceful and trouble-free polling experience.
The voter turnout was noteworthy in both states, with Chhattisgarh recording a provisional turnout of 71.48%, and Mizoram showing strong participation at 77%. The final results will be revealed on December 3.
Chhattisgarh Voting Details: In Chhattisgarh, the election was conducted in different time slots due to security concerns, given the backdrop of Naxalite violence and calls for a boycott. Voting in ten constituencies took place from 7 am to 3 pm, and in the remaining segments, it was held from 8 am to 5 pm. The polling process was conducted under a substantial security presence involving police and paramilitary personnel, primarily in the Naxalite-affected Bastar division.
The main contenders for power in Chhattisgarh are the opposition BJP and the ruling Congress. The first phase of polling covered 20 out of the total 90 assembly seats in the state, with nearly 1 lakh security personnel deployed.
The provisional voter turnout percentages for various constituencies are as follows:
- Antagarh (78.04%)
- Dongargarh (77.4%)
- Dongargaon (76.8%)
- Khairagarh (76.31%)
- Kondagaon (76.29%)
- Kanker (76.13%)
- Mohla-Manpur (76%)
- Jagdalpur (75%)
- Kawardha (74.89%)
- Keshkal (74.49%)
- Rajnandgaon (74%)
- Pandariya (73.67%)
- Khujji (72.01%)
- Bastar (71.39%)
- Chitrakot (70.36%)
- Dantewada (67.71%)
- Narayanpur (63.88%)
- Konta (50.12%)
- Bijapur (40.98%)
A total of 223 candidates, including 25 women, contested in the first phase, with an eligible voter base of 40,78,681 individuals.
Key Candidates in the First Phase: Prominent figures like former Chief Minister and BJP leader Raman Singh, Chhattisgarh Congress President and MP Deepak Baij, and three ministers in the Bhupesh Baghel cabinet have their electoral fates sealed in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Incidents of Violence: While the voting process unfolded, incidents of violence were reported in Chhattisgarh. In Sukma district, four security personnel were injured in an encounter with Naxalites in the Chintagufa police station area. Additionally, a CRPF commando sustained injuries in an IED blast near Tondamarka camp in the same district during separate area domination operations aimed at ensuring security during the polls. Exchanges of fire also occurred between Naxalites and security personnel in Narayanpur, Bijapur, and Kanker districts. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties among security personnel in these incidents.
Mizoram Voting Details: In Mizoram, all 40 assembly seats went to polls in a single phase. The Mizoram assembly elections were conducted without significant issues, with a voter turnout of 77.39% recorded by 6 pm. The final turnout may reach 80% as reports from remote districts are awaited. In the 2018 state elections, the overall voter turnout was 81.61%.
The polling in all 1,276 polling stations proceeded peacefully. A total of 174 candidates, including 18 women, contested in Mizoram.
Turnout Variation by District:
- Aizawl district had the lowest turnout at 73.09%.
- South Mizoram’s Siaha (76.41%) and Saitual (75.12%) reported lower voter percentages compared to other regions.
Political Scenario in Mizoram: In Mizoram, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), the main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), and the Congress fielded candidates in all 40 seats. The BJP contested in 23 constituencies, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) nominated candidates in four assembly segments. Additionally, there were 27 independent candidates. Analysts predict that this year’s polls will be a direct competition between the MNF and ZPM.
In the 2018 elections, the MNF won 26 of the 40 seats and secured two more in subsequent bypolls. The ZPM won eight constituencies, relegating the Congress, which secured five assembly segments, to third place. The BJP marked its presence in the Christian-majority state by winning one seat.