Tight security for Tripura panchayat polls

Agartala: Tight security arrangements have been made for Tripura panchayat elections and more than one thousand polling booths have been identified as “sensitive”, a senior police officer has said.
Elections to the three-tier panchayat polls in Tripura would be held on July 27. Ballot papers would be used in the rural polls. Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel and 17 companies of BSF and CRPF would be deployed in all the 1,848 polling booths of which 1,172 have been identified as sensitive, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Arindam Nath told a press conference here on Saturday.
The DIG said 17 cases of poll violence have been registered in the state till July 20. The BJP has won 85 per cent of the seats uncontested in the panchayat polls in Tripura. “Of the total 6,646 seats comprising gram panchayats, panchayat samities and zilla parishads, the BJP has won 5,652 seats uncontested,” secretary of the state Election Commission (SEC), Prasenjit Bhattacharya has said.
Polling will now be held for around 850 gram panchayats, 85 panchayat samities and 80 zilla parishad seats, Bhattacharya said. Tripura has a total 591 gram panchayats having 6,111 seats, 35 panchayat samities with 419 seats and eight zilla parishads having 116 seats, he said.
Altogether, 12,03,070 voters, including 6,16,893 male and 5, 86,176 women will exercise their franchise at 2,623 polling stations between 7 am to 4 pm on the polling day. “White ballot papers would be used for gram panchayat polls, pink ones for panchayat samities and green papers for zilla parishads,” the SEC secretary said.
The opposition CPI(M) and the Congress have alleged that their candidates were “threatened and attacked” by “BJP- backed goons” and prevented from filing nomination in the pachayat polls. About 121 CPI(M) candidates were forced to withdraw their nomination papers on the last day of withdrawal on July 11, the party claimed in a statement.
Vice-president of the state Congress unit Tapas Dey also accused the BJP of reducing the election into a “farce”.
“They (BJP) did not allow many of our (Congress) candidates to file nominations and launched physical attacks on them and our supporters during filing of nominations. We were forced to withdraw 124 candidates from the fray in the face of terror by BJP goons,” he said.
Refuting the allegations, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said candidates of the two opposition parties did not file nomination because they have “lost their support base.” (PTI)

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