Agartala: Elections to the 30-member Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which governs two-third of the northeastern state’s territory, was underway amid heavy security on Tuesday, a senior official said.
Sixteen companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), 5,684 Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans, 3,435 police personnel and 263 Home Guards were deployed for smooth conduct of the elections, Assistant Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Subrata Chakraborty said.
All 61 police stations in the TTADC-governed area were put on alert, and reinforced with additional forces, he said, adding that extensive patrolling was being carried out in the places where the elections were underway.
The polling started at 7 am and no untoward incident was reported yet, State Election Commission secretary Prasenjit Bhattacharjee said.
A few EVMs malfunctioned but they were replaced without any disturbance to the poll process, he said.
Over 30 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first four hours, the official said.
“Vehicle-borne escorts have also been provided to the election observers and leaders of recognised political parties, and personal security officers to the contesting candidates,” he said.
Altogether, 157 candidates are in the fray — 14 of the BJP, 28 of the Left Front, 28 of Congress, 17 of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and four of the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT).
A total of 8,65,041 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. Of them, 4,36,548 are males and 4,28,490 females.
In all, 1,244 polling stations have been set up in 1,060 places across the tribal council area.