The Election Commission on Friday said it has deferred the counting of votes for the Assembly elections in Mizoram by one day to Monday.

The Assembly polls in Mizoram took place on November 7. The counting of votes in the northeastern state was earlier scheduled to take place on Sunday, along with four other states that went to polls: Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana.

On Friday, the poll body said that it had received several representations requesting it to change the date of counting to some other weekday, “on the ground that 3rd December, 2023 being Sunday a special significance for the people of Mizoram”.

The commission said it has accepted these requests.

The date of counting for the four other states have not been changed.

The commission’s decision comes amid protests in the state organised by the NGO Coordination Committee of Mizoram.

“We strongly condemn the fact that the Election Commission of India has scheduled the date of counting of votes for the Mizoram Assembly Elections 2023 on December 3, 2023 which falls on Sunday, a day of veneration for the Mizo Christian people,” the NGO Coordination Committee had said in its resolution on Friday.

The Mizoram Assembly has a total of 40 seats and 21 are required for a majority.

Some exit polls released on Thursday project the Zoram People’s Movement to be ahead of the state’s ruling Mizo National Front. There were some other surveys that placed the ruling party ahead of the Zoram People’s Movement. Some of these exit polls also highlight the possibility of a hung Assembly in Mizoram.

The Chief Minister Zoramthanga-led Mizo National Front, which came to power in Mizoram in 2018, is facing a challenge from the Congress and the Zoram People’s Movement in the Assembly polls. Since 1989, the state’s ruling parties have managed to secure a second consecutive term in office.

Also read: Exit polls: Congress ahead in Telangana and Chhattisgarh, BJP in Rajasthan