Agartala| Over 81 percent of the 28.14 lakh electorate exercised their franchise till 4 pm in Tripura on Thursday amid heavy security, election officials said. The voter turnout in the 2013 and 2018 assembly elections was 91.82 percent and 89.38 percent, respectively. Over one lakh voters are still queuing up at several polling stations across the state even after polling officially ended at 4 pm, an election official told IANS. The final polling percentage may cross 86 percent.
Several incidents of assault on political workers, intimidation and obstruction of voters have been reported from various districts. At least 60 opposition party workers were reported injured in Gomati, Sipahijala, South Tripura and West Tripura districts.
Main opposition CPI(M) alleged that BJP workers evicted polling agents of candidates in more than 25 polling booths in four districts. Tripura’s Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said that wherever the authority received any information about trouble, security forces were immediately sent to solve the problems.
A constable was suspended for his alleged role in urging people to vote for the ruling BJP in Gomti district, a senior police officer said. Opposition parties, including the CPI(M) and the Congress, complained that voters supporting the opposition parties were obstructed by workers of the ruling party at several places, including Santirbazar, Hrishmukh, Dhanpur and Kakraban.
Earlier, men, women and first-time voters queued up in front of polling stations in eight districts even before polling began at 7 am. Reang tribals who were displaced from Mizoram after the caste crisis 26 years ago and voters living along the zero line (outside the fence) of the India-Bangladesh border also exercised their franchise.
The CEO said that a total of 259 candidates, including 31 women, are in the fray for the election to the 60-member house and among them BJP has fielded the maximum number of 55 candidates, followed by CPI (M) (43), Tipra Motha Party (42), Trinamool INC (28), and INC has contested 13 seats. 58 independent candidates and 14 candidates from various smaller parties are also contesting.
Around 31,000 personnel were deployed at 3,327 polling stations to conduct the elections. In all, 28.14 lakh voters, including 13.99 lakh women, were eligible to cast their votes in the polls held on Thursday. A senior police officer said that the Union Home Ministry provided 400 companies (30,000 security personnel) of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), while around 9,000 Tripura State Rifles personnel and over 6,000 Tripura Police personnel were deployed to conduct free and violence-free elections. was posted for.