Election Commission turns down BJP’s request to extend deadline for filing nomination in Mizoram

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The Election Commission of India has turned down the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) request for extending the last date for filing nominations for the Mizoram Legislative Assembly elections. In a letter written to EC on Wednesday, the BJP state president JV Hluna had sought an extension owing to the ongoing protest in the state.

The BJP had requested for an extension for filing of nominations claiming that a number of their candidates could not file their nominations in the wake of recent protests seeking the removal of the state’s Chief Electoral Officer SB Shashank.

Replying to his letter on Thursday, the EC informed Hluna that his request “has not been acceded to on account of peace and normalcy in the state”. The last date for nomination remains November 9.

The people of Mizoram have been protesting against Chief Electoral Officer of state, SB Shashank, alleging that he is prejudiced in conducting the upcoming state assembly elections.

Earlier this week, Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding Shashank’s removal as the principal secretary of state L Chuaungo was removed on his complaint.

Shashank had complained to the EC of “direct interference” by the state in the affairs of upcoming polls following which the Commission ordered the removal of Mizoram Principal Secretary (Home Department), L Chuaungo. He also mentioned Chuaungo’s alleged involvement in the revision of the electoral rolls.

Chuaungo’s removal did not go down well with the state government, political parties and civil society of the state after which the Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla wrote to Prime Minister Modi demanding Shashank’s removal.

The BJP had so far announced 27 candidates out of a total of 40 Assembly seats in the state. Mizoram is the only state in the north-east which is under the Congress rule. The state will go to polls on 28 November.

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