Aizawl: Out of the 174 candidates vying for seats in the Mizoram assembly elections, a total of 112, which account for 64.37 percent, are crorepatis, with Andrew Lalremkima Pachuau, the state president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), emerging as the wealthiest among them.
Andrew Lalremkima Pachuau, representing the AAP in the Aizawl North-III constituency, holds the distinction of being the wealthiest candidate, with declared assets amounting to Rs 65.93 crore.
Rounding out the top three richest candidates are R Vanlaltluanga from the Congress, contesting the Serchhip seat, with assets totaling Rs 55.6 crore, and H Ginzalala from the Zoram People’s Movement, competing in the Champhai North constituency, with declared assets worth Rs 36.9 crore.
The primary source of income for all these affluent candidates, according to their affidavits, is their business endeavours.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ramhlun-Edena, an independent candidate from the Serchhip seat, is the poorest candidate, possessing movable assets worth a meagre Rs 1,500.
A big blunder comes from JB Rualchhinga, the BJP nominee from Lawngtlai West, who mistakenly reported his assets as being valued at Rs 90.32 crore. The party has already sought correction from the election department.
In the 2018 assembly elections, Lalrinenga Sailo, representing MNF in Hachhek, was the wealthiest candidate with declared assets worth Rs 100 crore.
Following him was his party colleague, Robert Romawia Royte from Aizawl East-II, with assets totaling Rs 44 crore. However, in the current elections, Sailo’s assets have considerably decreased to Rs 26.24 crore, and Royte’s assets have diminished to Rs 32.24 crore.
Among the 16 women candidates, Meriam L. Hrangchal from the Congress, contesting from Lunglei South, is the wealthiest, boasting assets worth Rs 18.63 crore.
MNF president and Chief Minister Zoramthanga is the richest among the presidents of the five political parties in the contest, with assets valued at Rs 5 crore. Lalduhoma, the chief ministerial candidate for ZPM, who is seeking public support from the Serchhip seat, possesses assets worth Rs 4 crore.
In terms of wealth, Lalsawta, the Mizoram Congress president running from Aizawl West-III, reports assets worth Rs 6 crore, while Vanlalhmuaka, the BJP president from Dampa, has assets totaling Rs 31.31 lakh.
Among the candidates, five have pending criminal cases, including three from ZPM and one each from MNF and BJP. In the 2018 elections, nine candidates, including Zoramthanga and former chief minister Lal Thanhawla, had criminal cases pending against them.
Among the candidates, Deputy Chief Minister Tawnpui, who is contesting from the Tuichang seat for the second time, is the oldest at the age of 80.
Lalruatfeli Hlawndo, a woman candidate running as an independent from two seats, and BJP nominee F Vanhmingthanga, are the youngest, both aged 31.
Out of 174 candidates contesting the upcoming election to the 40-member Mizoram legislative assembly to be held on November 7, six candidates have published in their affidavits that they are having criminal antecedents, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Madhup Vyas said on Wednesday.
Among the six candidates having reported that they have criminal antecedents, four candidates are from Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) while one each is the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) and BJP nominees, Vyas said.
The ZPM nominees having criminal cases registered against them are Lalnghinglova Hmar, contesting from Aizawl West-2 assembly constituency, Shanti Jiban Chakma, contesting from Tuichawng seat, K. Sapdanga, contesting from Aizawl North-3 seat and V. Malsawmtluanga, contesting from Lunglei North assembly constituency.
The MNF nominee having criminal case is V. Zirsanga who is now chief executive member (CEM) of Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) contesting from Lawngtlai West assembly constituency while the BJP candidate having criminal antecedent is P.S. Zatluanga, contesting from Champhai North assembly seat.
Meanwhile, different law enforcement agencies in the state have seized over 44 kilos and 68 grams of heroin worth Rs 19.28 crore since October 9, the day election was announced by the Election Commission of India till October 24. The law enforcement agencies also have seized Methamphetamine and Crystal Meth worth Rs 4.28 crore, Rs. 1.16 crore worth liquor and 70 boxes of gelatin and 1,500 metres of cortex during the same period.
CEO Madhup Vyas also said that there has been an increase of 195 in the number of electorates in the state till date since the final publication of the state electoral roll on October 4 as revision of voters’ list a continuous process.
Vyas said that the number of voters as on date is 8,57,063 including 4,39,026 female voters with women electors outnumbering their male counterparts by 25,964. There are 1,276 polling stations spread across the state.
“Arrangements have been put in place for installation and implementation of webcasting in 765 out of the 1276 polling stations which is 60 per cent of all polling stations in the whole of Mizoram. The service will be provided by Multi Computer Services, West Bengal for which all codal formalities have been finalised and work to commence from October 27,” he said.
The CEO said that first Training for Polling Parties comprising of 1,470 each of Presiding Officers, first, second and third Polling Officers have been conducted by all District Election Officers and the second Training is ongoing in some of the districts too. “As per latest report from all the districts, there is no deficiency on the required manpower,” he said.
Commissioning (preparation of EVMs/VVPATs for Poll) will commence from October 27with 48 engineers from Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) will be deployed for the purpose, he said.
Home voting facility will be provided to a total of 2,092 senior citizens who are above 80 years old and Persons with Disability (PwD) in the 40 Assembly Constituencies of Mizoram, he said.
“Apart from the 3,000 odd state police personnel and out of the 450 sections of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), 10 Companies of BSF, 5 Companies of CRPF & SSB have reached Mizoram and are already in their places of deployment,” the CEO said.
Arrangements have been made to deploy 1 Pawan Hans Helicopter at Mualpui Helipad in southern part of the capital Aizawl city to be on standby on poll day (November 7) from 7 AM to 4 PM as air ambulance for emergency services.
Mizoram is going to polls to elect 40-member state legislature with 174 candidates contesting the upcoming elections. While the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Indian National Congress (INC) are contesting all the 40 seats, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are fielding candidates in 23 seats and 4 seats respectively.
The AAP is trying to open its account for the first time in the state. There are 27 independents and 16 women nominees for the coming elections.