Aizawl : Polling is underway for the 25-member Mara Autonomous District Council in Mizoram's Siaha on Thursday, amid tight security and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, an official said.

The voting began at 7 am and will continue till 5 pm.

Polling has so far been peaceful in all the 81 stations, Siaha Deputy Commissioner Lalsangliana said.

Long queues were seen outside many booths as people turned up early for casting their votes.

At least 42,342 voters will decide the fate of 85 candidates in the local body elections.

The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) has fielded candidates in all the 25 seats, while the BJP is contesting in 24 constituencies, the Congress in 23 and Zoram People's Movement (ZPM) in eight.

Five independent candidates are also in the fray.

In the last council polls held in May 2017, the Congress had won 17 seats, while the MNF and the Mara Democratic Front (MDF) combine bagged seven constituencies and an independent candidate secures one.

But the BJP took control of the council in 2019 after several Congress members joined the saffron party.

The MDF had also merged itself with the BJP.

The saffron party now has 17 members in the council, the MNF six and the Congress two—PTI

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