Aizawl: Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs John Barla arrived in Mizoram on Saturday to campaign for Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) polls, which was scheduled to be held on May 5, a party source said on Sunday. 

The Union Minister was accompanied by Rajya Sabha member from Assam Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, the sources said.

Barla along with Prasad and state BJP president Vanlalhmuaka has left for Siaha town, the headquarters of MADC, on Saturday evening, it said.

The election campaign for the 25-member MADC is gaining momentum.

According to Siaha Deputy Commissioner Lalsangliana, who is the returning officer, a total of 42,342 electorates, including 21,969 female voters, would exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 85 candidates.

The Mizo National Front (MNF), the ruling party in the state, has fielded all the 25 seats, while the BJP, which is currently in power in the council, is contesting 24 seats and Congress (23), he said.

The main opposition party in the state Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) in its electoral debut in the council polls is contesting 8 seats, he said.

Besides, there are five independent candidates, he added.

The counting of votes would be held on May 9.

MADC was constituted in 1972 for the Mara people living in the state.

Its headquarters is Siaha in the southern part of the state. In the 25-member council, the BJP now has 17 members, MNF (6) and Congress (2). 

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