Tripura elections sees 74% voter turnout


New Delhi: Voter turnout in Tripura, where assembly elections were held on Sunday, saw a sharp decline with 74% electors casting their votes until 4pm, down from 91.82% in the 2013 assembly elections and 84% in the 2014 general elections. However, the final figures are likely to be higher, election officials said.

This elections are a direct contest between the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, which is contesting for a sixth consecutive term in power, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is trying to make inroads into the north-eastern state.

Polling was held in 59 constituencies of the 60-member assembly, with election to one constituency, Charilam, postponed to March due to the death of a candidate.

“The figures we have received from the polling booths till 4 pm, the turnout is 74%. It is likely to go up as there were people in the queue and polling was still underway,” Sudeep Jain, deputy election commissioner, told reporters in Delhi.

There are 2.57 million voters in Tripura. The voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine was used for the first time in all the polling stations in Tripura. In the first few hours of polling, glitches were allegedly found in a few machines which were later fixed.

“We can’t say that there has been a decline since people are still standing in the queue. The Commission has made the best arrangements possible,” said Shriram Taranikanti, chief electoral officer, Tripura.

The Election Commission said that there were no incidents of violence reported. According to PTI, the Border Security Force has been asked to keep a close vigil on the 856-km India-Bangladesh border in Tripura and 300 companies of central and state armed forces along with police personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls.livemint