Agartala, April 4: With the issuance of the statutory notification on Saturday for the May 3 polls for the 30-seat Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), political activities have gathered speed. “Today (Saturday) notification was issued for the election to the 30-seat TTAADC. The polls will be held on May 3. Votes will be counted on May 6,” State Election Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Rakesh told reporters here.
He said: “With the issuance of formal notification, filing of nomitions began from Saturday and it would continue till April 11.”
A total of 758,554 electors, including 375,117 women, are eligible to vote. Of the 30 seats, 28 are filled through direct election and two members are nomited by the government.
Twenty seven seats are reserved for tribals.
Rakesh said for the first time votes in the TTAADC polls will be cast through EVMs (electronic voting machines).
The TTAADC was formed in January 1982 under the seventh schedule of the constitution and its authority was upgraded by amending the sixth schedule of the constitution in August 1984 to protect and safeguard the political, economic and cultural interests of tribals, who make up one third of Tripura’s 3.7 million population.
The council covers two-thirds of the state’s territory of 10,491.69 sq. km. The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) led Left Front, which is ruling the TTAADC, announced its candidates last week. The opposition Congress and the Bharatiya Jata Party have announced that they will contest the polls.
Two tribal parties — Indigenous tiolist Party of Tripura (INPT) and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) — have already announced candidates and will contest the polls on their own.
The CPI-M alleged that tribal parties especially the IPFT was trying to polarise people along commul lines before the TTAADC polls by intensifying their campaign in support of a separate state out of the council areas.
The INPT spped its decades-old electoral ties with the Congress in July 2014.
The Congress allied with the Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS) in 1983.
The TUJS, formed in 1967 after a series of political developments, had formed the INPT with the Tripura tiol Volunteers, a former militant outfit-turned-political party. In the 60-member Tripura assembly, 20 seats are reserved for tribals. (IANS)