76% voter turnout in battleground Tripura

Frederick Owens
February 19, 2018

The counting of the votes will take place on March 3. BJP is battling close behind CPI-M and is expected to give the Left front a run for their money. The election in Charilam constituency was postponed following the death six days ago of CPI (M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma. IPFT will contest in the remaining nine seats.

The Trinamool Congress has fielded 24 candidates. According to officials in the election department, the snags in Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) attached with VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in more than 150 polling stations resulted in the slow balloting.

Meanwhile, Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar's wife has expressed confidence that ruling CPI (M) will come back to power in the state once again.

But CPI (M) has objected to reports of a closed-door meeting between the special observer and the state BJP president at the Chief Electoral Officer's chamber.

The BJP, which has forged an alliance with tribal outfit Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) has fielded 51 candidates.

The Tripura Assembly consists of 60 seats.

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Congress will contest 59 seats. The party has not fielded any candidate from Kakrabon constituency in Gomati district. However, its official nominee Sukumar Chandra Das in Kakraban-Shalgarha Assembly seat (Reserved-Scheduled Caste) withdrew his nomination and joined the BJP.

Of the 60 seats, 20 are reserved for tribals and 10 for scheduled castes.

The CPI (M) has been ruling Tripura since 25 years under the leadership of Manik Sarkar, who's eyeing a record fifth term. The polling percentage is likely to go up further as more data comes in, Election Commission officials told reporters here.

"The BJP formed governments in Manipur and Goa (earlier last year) by using money power and illegal means". The Prime Minister addressed four rallies.

But BJP's poll in-charge of Tripura Himanta Biswa Sarma countered such a claim.

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