FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
AGARTALA, Feb 17: Over twenty five lakh voters will go to 3214 polling stations across Tripura on Sunday to cast their vote to elect 59 representative for the 60-member state assembly amid tight security. Election in one constituency has been countermanded due to the death of the CPI(M) candidate and has been rescheduled on March 12. Counting of votes will be undertaken on March 3 along with Meghalaya and galand.
Sriram Taranikanth, Chief Electoral Officer told the reporters that all necessary arrangement has been made to ensure a smooth conduct of election and all the polling parties has already left for their respective polling stations.
He said all necessary security arrangement has been made to ensure a free and fair election and urged all the voters to cast their vote fearlessly. He also allayed all apprehension about the secrecy of the EVM and the VVPET and told the voters not to be misguided by any faults propaganda.
The election commission has sent one special observer the former DG of ITBP R K Panchanda to oversee the security arrangement during the polling. Two helicopters also have been placed for quick action in case of necessary. One air ambulance also will remain standby. Sunday’s election will determine the fate of 275 candidates who are involved in multi-cornered contest. While the ruling Left Front and the BJP-IPFT combine is vying for capturing power other political parties like Congress, Trimool Congress etc are also in the fray.
Bijon Dhar, the state secretary of the CPI(M) and convener the Left Front exuded confidence that the front is returning to power with more seats while the BJP state president Biplab Deb said the people of Tripura are in a changing mood and an overwhelming majority for them is a matter of time only.
The state has witnessed a high voltage campaign during last three weeks when Prime Minister rendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yeachury and many other senior leaders visited the state. Presence of a good number of film stars added color to the campaign trail.
This election also will remain marked for a bizarre development when one candidate died and four other sustained injuries or suffered illness since notification for election was issued. The CPI(M) candidate for Charilam constituency Ramendra rayan Debbarma suffered cardiac ailment and died.
The septuagerian CPI(M) candidate for Khowai constituency Biswajit Datta has to be replaced by younger Nirmal Biswas after he fell ill before filing nomition. Two other CPIM candidates Khagendra Jamatia of Krishpur constituency and Jhumu Sarkar of Barjala suffered brief illness and had to be shifted to hospital while the BJP candidate for Ramgar Surajit Datta also suffered similar fate. The Rajya Sabha member Jhar Das Baidya who is contesting from Badharghat constituency as CPI(M) candidate suffrered minor injury when a wood apple (Beel) fall on her head when she was conducting a door to door campaign and had to be sifted to hospital for a brief period.