Tripura Assembly elections scheduled for Thursday

The counting of votes will take place on March 2, along with the votes polled in Meghalaya and Nagaland later this month

Update: 2023-02-15 19:25 GMT
Women poll officials collect EVMs and other election material for the Tripura Assembly elections on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (PTI Photo)

HYDERABAD: Tripura is all set to decide whether or not to retain the incumbent BJP-led government in state Assembly elections scheduled for Thursday. In the single-phase polling for the 60-member Tripura Assembly, the BJP is facing a multi-cornered contest and a stiff challenge from the Opposition -- the Left-Congress alliance and the TMC.

The BJP's campaign in the tribal-dominated state was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who campaigned in the poll-bound state for two days, addressing rallies wherein he highlighted how his government and the BJP rule in the state have ushered in development for Tripura and the region. He particularly emphasised the work done for the tribals.

All political parties have been wooing the tribals, including the Tipra Motha, a union of tribal organisations that is contesting its first Assembly polls and was wooed by both the BJP and the Left-Congress alliance. Mamata Banerjee's TMC is also contesting the elections.

The voting will start at 7 am on Thursday and is expected to conclude by 4 pm. The counting of votes will take place on March 2, along with the votes polled in Meghalaya and Nagaland later this month.

There are 3,337 polling stations across 60 constituencies, out of which 1,100 were identified as sensitive and 28 as critical. Altogether, 28.13 lakh voters, including 13.53 lakh women, will decide the fate of 259 candidates, including 20 women, in the fray.

Several thousand security personnel have been deployed across the states and other measures have also been taken for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

As part of the precautionary measures, a prohibitory order has already been imposed across Tripura and will remain in force till 6 am on February 17. The international and interstate boundaries have also been sealed to prevent troublemakers from entering the state.

Among the prominent candidates trying their fate are chief minister Manik Saya, who is contesting from the Town Bardowali constituency, while Union minister Pratima Bhowmik is contesting from Dhanpur on the saffron party's ticket. Jitendra Chadudhury, CPI(M) state secretary and the face of the Left-Congress coalition, is running for the Sabroom Assembly seat.  Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Debbarma is not contesting.

The BJP is contesting on 55 seats, its ally IPFT has fielded candidates in six constituencies and there will be a friendly fight on one seat. The ruling BJP has fielded the highest number of women candidates with 12.

The CPI(M) is contesting on 47 seats, while its alliance partner Congress is contesting on 13 seats. The Tipra Motha has fielded candidates for 42 seats. The Trinamul Congress has fielded nominees in 28 constituencies. And there are 58 independent aspirants.

While the Left-Congress alliance highlighted the BJP-led government's misrule, the poll plank of Tipra Motha is Greater Tipraland statehood demand.

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