Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Polling underway for 59 of total 60 seats in Tripura

Polling underway for 59 of total 60 seats in Tripura

A Reyang lady is showing her marked finger after casting her vote in a polling station during Tripura legislative assembly elections in Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on February 18.

Tripura, a CPI-M bastion, is one of the two states where the Left still rules.

The BJP has never been a major player in Tripura which hitherto saw a battle between Left Front and the Congress is now a main contender. CPIM candidate for the Charilam constituency Ramendra Narayan Deb Barma died six days ago. It is contesting 59 seats and had not fielded candidate for Kakrabon constituency.

The results of the polling will be declared on March 3. The BJP has fielded 51 candidates and nine are contesting from its ally Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT). A gung-ho BJP is not only matching CPM slogan for slogan, its big development pitch is gaining traction among Tripura's young voters.

However, the BJP has been criticised by the Left for tying up with the IPFT that wants a separate state of Tipraland to be carved out of Tripura for tribal-dominated areas, despite BJP saying that it is against the bifurcation of the state.

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Pachnanda along with other senior officials on Saturday held meeting with district level officers including superintendent of police and Election Commission's police observers through video conference. Other CPI (M) leaders such as Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat supported the party's campaign. On the last day of the campaign, a total of 307 candidates are in the race in these elections. Security is beefed up in the state and 300 companies of Central Armed Forces and state armed personnel have been deployed.

"The BJP formed governments in Manipur and Goa (earlier last year) by using money power and illegal means". Sarkar will becomes Chief Minister for the 5th time if he wins again.

Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, also an MLA from Dhanpur constituency, casts his vote in Agartala on Sunday morning.

The Congress' important nominees are state party chief Birajit Sinha, Congress legislator Gopal Roy and former minister Laxmi Nag.

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