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Tripura Assembly Election 2018: Voting in 59 seats, State CEO claims EVM snags sorted, no reports of violence so far

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 18, Feb 2018, 13:07 pm IST | UPDATED: 20, Feb 2018, 9:35 am IST

Tripura Assembly Election 2018: Voting in 59 seats, State CEO claims EVM snags sorted, no reports of violence so far New Delhi: Voting for the Assembly elections in Tripura began on Sunday morning amidst tight security, official said.

Responding to queries on EVM malfunctioning at several places on the polling day, Sriram Taranikanti, Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura said, “There were technical glitches and we have had difficulty in about 3% of the total voting machines across the State. We have rectified the same and polling is going smooth. A team of about 180 engineers are helping us address such technical problems.”

"Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of many polling stations well before polling opened at 7 a.m. in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 p.m.," said Sriram Taranikanti, the Chief Electoral Officer.

BJP candidate Nitish Dey told Firstpost, "Since 7 am, voters are waiting to cast their votes for a change and are waiting in queue in front of the polling centres. There are reports of a few anomalies in EVM machines and so few polling centres have started bit late in Kailashwar Constituency. This is the fault of the administration as they did not check the machines properly.

"I have also seen that some of the state employees are working closely with EC to favour the ruling party. We have taken up this matter with the administration. They are violating the code of conduct. I was canvassing till 4 pm on 16 Feb and I believe that BJP is going to win the seats."

“There has been disturbance (in poll booths). So we called up the DM and he sent some officers to the voting centre. Now it is going on peacefully. The officers at times misbehaves with the senior voters but for them only now it is systematic and peaceful,” Congress candidate Birajit Sinha said.

The prime minister invoked the recent deaths of BJP workers, claiming that the Left government was resorting to bloodshed, sensing that its end is near. Modi claimed that the murders of 10 BJP workers and a journalist was carried out by the ruling party's supporters ahead of the polls.

Speaking in Hindi, Modi used rhyming words to hit out at Manik Sarkar government and make his point: "Left parties do not believe in democracy (ganatantra) they believe in gun-tantra," Modi said. "They murdered our 10 BJP workers. They killed journalists," he alleged.

In all, 2,536,589 people, including 1,250,128 women and 47,803 first-time voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 292 candidates, including 23 women and many independents.

"Apprehending troubles by some tribal outfit, a record 50,000 para-military and other state security personnel have been deployed while two air surveillance team led by senior officials are conducting surveillance by helicopters," the election official.

* Polling begins for 59 of total 60 seats.

* The Congress is going it alone in Tripura this time and will contest in 59 seats.

* The BJP, which has forged an alliance with tribal outfit Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) has fielded 51 candidates. IPFT will contest in the remaining nine seats.

* The CPM is contesting in 57 seats and while the other Left Front constituents, the RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI, in one seat each.

* There are 307 candidates are in the fray. Twenty seats have been reserved for the scheduled tribes.

* Manik Sarkar, who is running for his fifth term as the chief minister, led the CPM's campaign addressing around 50 rallies in the state.

* Other heavyweight leaders of the saffron party who took part in the campaign were its national president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

* The BJP held a high-voltage campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing as many as four rallies in the state.

* BJP is emerging as the main challenger to the ruling Left Front, which has been in power in the state for the last 25 years.

* Tripura goes to polls today with the BJP emerging as the main challenger to the ruling Left Front, which has been in power in the state for the last 25 years.
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