Chief Electoral Officer Gitte Kirankumar Dinakarrao stated on Thursday that voting is now taking place for the 60-member Assembly in Tripura amidst high levels of security.
Voting started at 7 am and will last until 4 pm. In order to decide the fate of 259 candidates, a total of 28.13 lakh voters are set to exercise their right to vote throughout the day in 3,337 polling places in the northeastern state, he added.
In the first hour, he claimed, no suspicious incident or technical issue with the EVM was reported from any location in the state. 1,100 of the 3,337 voting places have been designated as sensitive, and 28 as essential. Women poll workers are in charge of as many as 97 booths. He said that the interstate and international borders had been sealed off to keep troublemakers at bay throughout the voting process. Prohibitory orders have been put in place statewide until 6 am on February 17 as a precaution, according to the CEO.
“As many as 31,000 polling personnel and 25,000 security personnel of central forces will be on guard to ensure the election is conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner. Besides, 31,000 officials of the state armed police and the state police will be deployed at various places to maintain law and order,” he explained.
Agartala Airport now has an air ambulance stationed there for emergencies, according to Dinakarrao. The CEO urged voters to exercise their democratic rights by casting a ballot and claimed that all essential preparations had been done to ensure their safety.
In order to prevent any trouble for elderly and physically disabled voters at the polls, he stated, “Special steps have been implemented.”
This election will feature a triangular battle for control of the northeastern state, with the BJP-IPFT coalition vying for power, the Left-Congress alliance attempting to seize control, and regional party Tipra Motha making its hustings debut after a stunning showing in the autonomous council elections.
The BJP is contesting for 55 seats in the Assembly, and its ally IPFT has viable candidates in six seats. In one seat, two sides will engage in a friendly brawl. 47 seats in the Congress and 13 seats are up for grabs for the left Front.
There are candidates from the TMC in 28 constituencies. In addition, 58 Independent candidates are running for office.
While CPI (M) state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury, the public face of the Left-Congress alliance, is running from Sabroom, Chief Minister Manik Saha, who won the by-election from Town Bardowali, is running from the same seat. Notably, the leader of Tipra Motha is not running for office. The voting will take place on March 2.
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