Agartala: The by-election to the Badharghat (SC) assembly constituency in West Tripura concluded with a total voter turnout of 79.29% on Monday.

Speaking with EastMojo, returning officer Tarun Debbarma said, “The voting in the constituency started at 7 am and concluded at 5 pm. The final vote percent was recorded till 5 pm at 79.29%. The number would increase in the final counting.”

A total of 45, 918 voters of the total 57,908 voters exercised their franchise across 71 polling booths which were set up across the assembly constituency on Monday.

No major incidents were reported. However, in booth No. 36 located in Ananda Niketan School, the commencement of polling was delayed because of a technical snag in the VVPATs of an electronic voting machine (EVM).

Besides, police intervention and action taken by paramilitary forces helped voters in various places despite attempts to prevent them from coming to booths and pressing buttons on the EVMs.

Speaking with EastMojo, BJP candidate Mimi Majumder said that polls were peaceful and people have come out in good numbers to cast their votes. “We are hopeful that the people will keep faith in us and give me an opportunity to serve the people under the leadership of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb,” Majumder said.

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Similarly, Ratan Das, Congress candidate, sounded hopeful of victory saying Badharghat has traditionally been a Congress seat and the BJP’s ‘terror tactics’ did not work up to the expected level.

However, the ruling CPI-M candidate Bulti Biswas said that she is confident of a win by a convincing margin as people have responded to them.

Meanwhile, opposition CPI-M has written a letter to the chief electoral officer asking for the removal of SDM Ashim Saha, who was seen supervising the strong rooms.

Now, both the opposition CPI-M and Congress had demanded the immediate removal of Ashim Saha from poll duty.

The by-election to Badharghat constituency, the state’s largest, was necessitated by the sudden death of ruling BJP MLA Dilip Sarkar in April this year.

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