Aizawl: The ruling Congress led in nine of the 11 seats for which trends were available as counting of votes for the 40-member Mizoram legislative assembly began Monday.
The opposition coalition Mizoram Democratic Alliance led in two seats, the election officials said. Over 81 percent of the total of 690,860 eligible voters exercised their franchise November 25.
Postal ballots are being counted first, followed by votes recorded in electronic voting machines. The results would decide the fate of 142 candidates, including six women.
Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, also the state Congress chief, is contesting from two constituencies - Serchhip, his home turf, and neighbouring Hrangturzo - while opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) chief Zoramthanga is trying his electoral fortunes from Tuipui East, bordering Myanmar.
The main poll battle is between the ruling Congress and opposition coalition Mizoram Democratic Alliance, comprising the Mizo National Front, Mizoram People's Conference and Maraland Democratic Front, all regional parties.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has little base in the state, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) and the Nationalist Congress Party also contested, fielding candidates on many seats.
Of the 40 constituencies, 39 are reserved for tribals and only one is for general category. In the last assembly elections in 2008, the Congress won 32 seats.