AIZAWL, April 2 - Mizoram Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashish Kundra today appealed the joint committee of the State�s major civil societies to withdraw its decision to boycott election to the State�s lone Lok Sabha seat to be held on April 11.
The NGO Coordination Committee (NGOCC) that comprises of all major NGOs and students� organisations on Monday announced its decision to organise an indefinite bandh starting April 8 which means that voters will be unable to exercise their franchise on the day of polling.
Describing the decision as �unfortunate�, Kundra, talking to media persons, appealed to the civil societies not to deprive the people their rights and duties of franchise and to ensure that the people of Mizoram has representation in the Parliament.
The call for boycott was in retaliation to the ECI�s rejection of the Mizo NGOs demand to have the Bru voters in Tripura relief camps exercise their franchise at their respective villages in Mizoram where they were enrolled as voters.
Like it did in the last Assembly polls in November last year, the EC has instructed the State Election department to to establish 15 special polling stations at Mizoram-Tripura border Kanhmun village where 12,081 Bru voters in the six relief camps in Tripura would exercise franchise.
�In the meeting of ECI, NGOCC and the State Election department, held before the State Assembly polls last year, it was decided that the Bru voters in the relief camps would exercise franchise inside Mizoram, and it was done as such by making arrangements at Kanhmun village,� Kundra said
He said that as far as he knew there was no agreement that the Bru voters in Tripura relief camps would cast their votes in their respective polling stations where they were enrolled as voters.
On the repatriation of Brus, he said that repatriation problems could not be solved by elections, but through dialogue by the government and the Bru leaders.
Meanwhile, around 450 people have exercised their franchise through postal ballots where there were about 2,000 service voters for the coming Lok Sabha polls and the EC could order the counting of such votes polled in the event of poll boycott and declare results.