Agartala: Over 83 percent of the 1.2 million electorate Monday cast their ballot as polling was held in one of the two Lok Sabha constituencies in the Left-ruled Tripura, an official said.
No untoward incident was reported as balloting took place in West Tripura constituency, police and election officials said. “Polling was absolutely peaceful,” an officer added.
“Around 83 percent of 12.46 lakh voters cast their votes when the last reports were received here at 5 p.m. The polling percentage may increase after the final reports come here from all four districts,” Tripura Chief Electoral Officer Ashutosh Jindal said.
In the last Lok Sabha polls in 2009, the voter turnout was 84.45 percent and in 2004 it was 67.39 percent across Tripura.
Jindal said people were still waiting in queues at many polling stations though the 10-hour-long balloting officially ended at 5 p.m.
He said no major complaint of wrongdoing was received from any political parties.
“Dressed in colourful attires, people were seen standing in long queues at most of the 1,605 polling stations as soon as voting began at 7 a.m. Clear sky with excellent weather encouraged voters to come to the polling booths early,” Jindal added.
“First-time voters and women were enthusiastic after casting their vote,” the official said, quoting reports from the districts.
“In some booths, due to technical snags in electronic voting machines (EVMs), voting was delayed for a while, but engineers either replaced or rectified the EVMs at once and balloting started as usual,” he said.
Polling in the tribal reserved Tripura East constituency will be held April 12.
In 2009, CPI-M’s Khagen Das defeated Sudip Roy Barman of the Congress.
This time, CPI-M’s trade union leader Sankar Prasad Datta, Congress’s Arunoday Saha, BJP state president Sudhindra Chandra Dasgupta, Trinamool Congress’s state chief Ratan Chakraborty, Tripura Pragatishil Gramin Congress president Subal Bhowmik, and Aam Aadmi Party’s Salil Saha are among the aspirants.
The Left has won from West Tripura 11 times since the first Lok Sabha elections of 1952 and the Congress four times.
The ruling CPI-M this time dropped both its sitting members – Das and Bajuban Reang (Tripura East). Reang has won the seat a record seven times since 1980.
The CPI-M is focusing on the development work it has done in Tripura, while attacking the Congress-led union government for poor governance, price-rise and corruption in the country.
The opposition is focussing on the Left’s misgovernance, unemployment and rising crimes against women.