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Over 80% voting in incident-free Tripura LS poll

 

AGARTALA: Over 80 per cent of the total 12.5 lakh voters on Tuesday cast their ballots in the deferred polling for the Tripura East parliamentary constituency, election officials said.

“After the final reports from all the polling stations received, the polling percentage might increase a little from the 80.40 per cent turnout. In 2014, the voting percentage in the Tripura East parliamentary seat was around 85 per cent,” an Election official said.

The official said that the police and election officials have taken action against intimidation of voters and polling agents in some places.

The officials said that in around 100 polling stations, voting was temporarily halted due to the snags of either the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) or the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.

Voting began amidst unprecedented security at 7 a.m. and formally ended at 5 p.m. A total of 1,257,944 people, including 620,291 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in 1,645 polling stations, including 31 all women ones, to decide the fate of 10 candidates, including two women.

“Braving soaring summer temperature, men and women including the young and first time voters exercised their franchise amidst huge number of paramilitary troopers guarding the balloting areas,” returning officer Vikas Singh told IANS over phone.

Singh, the District Magistrate and Collector of the Dhalai district in northern Tripura, said that in view of the heat, they had arranged temporary sheds and drinking water for voters.

Police spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the mountainous tribal reserve constituency spread across six districts.

Another senior police official said that few people were arrested in Amarpur areas in southern Tripura for intimidating voters and plying bikes violating the election rules.

The main contest is expected between the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) sitting MP Jitendra Choudhury, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rebati Tripura and Maharaj Kumari Pragya Deb Barman of the Congress.

A record number of around 10,000 central paramilitary force, Tripura State Rifles troopers and state police personnel have been deployed in the constituency, bordering Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram.

Citing a “non-conducive security situation”, the poll panel last week had deferred voting for the seat from April 18 to April 23.

Polling in the state’s other seat (Tripura West) was held on April 11. Agencies

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