Agartala: Tripura on Thursday witnessed a massive turnout of 91.6 per cent of 23,52,505 voters in peaceful polling amidst tight security for the 60-member House. The percentage of polling could rise as poll process was still continuing in some parts of the state, sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) said. In the last assembly election in 2008, the percentage of polling was 92.6 per cent. The Left Front is hoping to return for a record fifth straight time with the main contest between the Left Front and the Congress.
The fates of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury, Higher Education Minister Anil Sarkar, TPCC president Sudip Ray Barman, former chief minister Samir Ranjan Burman and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) president Bijay Hrankhwal among 249 candidates of 16 political parties were sealed in the EVMs. Police said five crude bombs hidden in a bush were recovered from Bodhjungnagar area of Khayerpur constituency by a CRPF patrol team. No untoward incident was reported from any part of the state, officials said.
The Chief Minister cast his vote at a booth in Umakanta School in Ramnagar constituency. TPCC president and INPT chief Bijoy Hrankhawl exercised their franchise at Agartala and Kulai in Dhalai district respectively. Polling stopped at Sonamura in West Tripura district and Dharmanagar in South Tripura district following technical problems in EVMs. However, the EVMs were replaced and the voting resumed after 10 minutes, the officials said.
The CPI-M, the dominant partner in the LF, contested 55 seats, RSP two and CPI two and Forward Bloc one. The Congress contested 48 seats and its alliance partners the INPT in 11 and National Conference of Tripura in one. Altogether 250 companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed to maintain law and order. The BSF had sealed the 856 km-long border with Bangladesh and deployed additional forces to prevent infiltration.