"For the last several years, elections in Mizoram have always been more or less peaceful. This year during campaign, not a single incident of violence has been reported. It has been very peaceful," state DGP Amulya Patnaik said.
    
Patnaik said that one of the main reasons behind the violence free poll campaign is the strict watch kept by the powerful Presbyterian Church controlled Mizoram People’s Forum which has listed the do’s and don'ts for political parties.
    
"We don’t support any kind of violence. We have the MPF platform at state level, district level and at local level, which keeps a strict watch on any kind of wrong doings and any attempt to instigate violence," MPF president Rev Lalramlian Pachuau, said.
    
Chief Electoral Officer Ashwini Kumar agreed that the campaign since the day the model code of conduct was implemented was peaceful.
    
"There has been no incident of violence as such. But yes, we have reports that there have been complaints of bribing," Kumar said.
    
Even three decades ago, the scenario in Mizoram, which had a history of insurgency since the early sixties, was not the same. The elections till the late eighties were marred by violence and bloodshed.
    
Mizoram started to become a peaceful state after the signing of the peace accord in the late eighties, which brought an end to insurgency in the state, bordered by Bangladesh on one side and Myanmar on the other.

 Political parties too hailed the role of Church in containing the violence during the polls.
"One of the main reasons behind violence free campaigning is the Church. Another reason is that we use the modes of campaigning set by the Church. So, there is no political clash," campaign head of Congress David M Thangliana said.
    
The opposition MNF, one of the largest political forces in the state, however, claimed that it is the party, which contributed to peace in the state.
    
"We are the biggest political force in the state. We always keep away from violence. So, any attempt at instigating violence has always been nipped in the bud," MNF leader F Aithanga said.

(Agencies)

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