Voters standing in a queue to cast their votes in a polling booth. (File image)

The by-elections to the Serchhip Assembly seat in Mizoram would be held on Saturday.

The Election Commission has extended the voting period by two hours in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and a holiday for a section of Christians.

According to election officials, all six candidates, including an Independent, are contesting the bypoll necessitated by disqualification of sitting MLA Lalduhoma of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) under the anti-defection law in November last year.

The main contest is likely between ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) candidate Vanlalzawma, main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) nominee Lalduhoma and Congress’ P.C. Laltlansanga.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has a legislator in the 40-member Assembly, has fielded retired mining engineer and former party spokesperson Lalhriatrenga Chhangte.

In view of the pandemic and the Seventh-Day Adventist church observing Saturday as “Sabbath”, the poll panel has extended the balloting by two hours till 7 p.m. while elaborate security arrangements were taken for peaceful conduct of polling.

A 19,433-strong electorate, including 10,278 female voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise.

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