Polling into 59 seats for Tripura assembly get underway

Last Modified Sunday, 18 February 2018 (10:47 IST)
Agartala: The voting for the 59 seats into the 60-member has begun across the state.Fate of 292 candidates including from CPI-M, Congress, and two tribal-based parties Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) besides outfits like Trinamool Congress will be decided in Sunday's polls. 

Long queues were seen in many polling booths in and in district towns. "It is a grand festival of democracy. All of us are excited to participate in it," said one voter.

The election to Charilam constituency was countermanded due to the death of CPI(M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma and the Election Commission has re-scheduled the election to the seat on March 12.

The polls into Tripura assembly this year is being billed as the first direct electoral contest between the right wing BJP and the communists. The BJP, which had a mere 1.57 per cent share of votes in 2013, has emerged as a key contender against CPI-M in several seats.

The CPI (M) has fielded its candidates in 57 assembly segments and is putting up a determined fight to retain power along with its other partners.Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is in coveted office since 1998, is running for his fifth term in a row.

Hours before the crucial polls, Tripura chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti on Saturday said all out efforts are being made by the poll officials and the security personnel including central forces and the state police so that elections are conducted in free and fair manner.

"We will ensure that elections are conducted free and fair......and it will be ensured with full coordination of the civil side, the police, central forces and all stake holders, most important people and political parties and the press," the CEO told a press conference here.

He further said there will be no threat or fear of violence either during elections and even after.The CEO said it will be ensured that "every measure" is going to be taken for the protection of the candidates and also the voters."The common man is the voter and so he is important.....so we are taking every measure to ensure safety and security of the common persons," he said.

He said relevant telephone numbers of poll observers, the top polling officers and others have been circulated well and went onto add: "we will take the best possible measures"."We all want that we should conduct the polls very well tomorrow (Sunday) and we will see that we can demonstrate a very peaceful election," he has said.(UNI)