Aizawl (PTI): The counting of votes polled in the assembly elections in Mizoram began at 8 am on Monday amid tight security, officials said.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer H Lianzela told PTI that the counting was being held in 13 centres across the state.

One counting hall has been set up for each of the 40 assembly seats at these 13 centres, he said.

The counting was supposed to happen on Sunday along with Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. However, it was deferred by the Election Commission following appeals by political parties, NGOs, churches and students' bodies as Sunday holds a special significance for the people of Mizoram, a Christian-majority state.

Postal ballots were being counted first, and from 8.30 am, the votes polled in the EVMs will be counted, Lianzela said.
Besides three counting centres in the Aizawl district, which has 12 assembly constituencies, one centre each has been set up in the 10 other districts, he said.

In some of the seats that have a lesser number of voters, only two rounds of counting will be held, but in most of the constituencies, five rounds will be counted, he added.

More than 4,000 personnel are involved in the counting process. In all, there are 399 tables for the EVMs and 56 for the counting of postal ballots, the official said.

Polling was held on November 7, and over 80 per cent of the state's 8.57 lakh voters exercised their franchise. A total of 174 candidates, including 18 women, were in the fray.

The MNF, ZPM and Congress contested 40 seats each, while the BJP fielded candidates in 13 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which contested the assembly polls here for the first time, fought in four seats. Also, there were 17 Independent candidates.

Some exit polls have predicted a clean sweep by the ZPM, but the majority indicated a hung House with no party getting a clear majority.

In the last assembly elections, held in 2018, the MNF had won 26 seats and the ZPM secured eight seats, relegating the Congress that bagged five seats to the third place. The BJP had won one seat.

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New Delhi, Mar 4: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in his reply to the latest ED summons related to the excise policy case has expressed readiness to appear before the agency through video-conferencing after March 12, government sources said on Monday.

Kejriwal has so far skipped multiple summonses of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), calling them illegal and asking the agency to wait as the matter was in court.

The chief minister reiterated that the summonses are "illegal" but still he was ready to answer the questions by the probe agency, the sources said.

Kejriwal also has to appear before a city court on March 16. The court has sought his personal appearance in a complaint case filed by the ED over skipping of its summonses by him.