Tripura polls: Nearly 14% turnout recorded in first two hrs of voting

Agartala, Feb 16 (IANS) Around 14 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 9 a.m. on Thursday in the Tripura Assembly polls conducted in all the 60 constituencies amid tight security, election officials said.
Men, women and first-time voters in large numbers queued up in front of the polling stations well before the voting started at 7 a.m. in eight districts.
The election officials said that no untoward incident was reported so far from any of the 60 constituencies, where the balloting is going on smoothly.
“EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) which were not functioning properly were replaced expeditiously by the engineers,” an election official said.
Voting will continue till 4 p.m. without any break.
Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao said that a total of 259 candidates, including 31 women, are testing their electoral fortunes in the elections.
The CEO said that of the 259 candidates, the highest number of 55 candidates have been put up by the ruling BJP, followed by CPI(M) (43), Tipra Motha Party (42), Trinamool Congress (28), and Congress (13).
A total of 58 Independent candidates and 14 nominees from various smaller parties are also contesting the elections.
Around 31,000 personnel are stationed in 3,327 polling stations to conduct the voting.
In all, 28.14 lakh voters, including 13.99 lakh women electorate are eligible to cast their votes in Thursday’s balloting.
A senior police officer said the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has provided 400 companies (30,000 security personnel) of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) comprising various para-military forces while around 9,000 Tripura State Rifles jawans and over 6,000 Tripura Police personnel have also been deployed to hold a fair and violence free elections.

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