Agartala: Voting for Tripura’s lone Rajya Sabha seat is underway in the state assembly on Thursday, amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, an Election Commission official said.
Altogether 27 legislators have exercised their franchise till 10.30 am, Chief Electoral Officer Gitte Kirankumar Dinkarrao told PTI.
The turnout is very good. The polling has been going on smoothly without any trouble or technical snag. It is scheduled to end at 4 pm and the counting of votes will take place later in the day after getting permission from the Election Commission of India (ECI), he said.
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State BJP president Dr Manik Saha, who had joined the party in 2016, is in the fray, while the CPI(M) has fielded former Tripura finance minister and sitting MLA Bhanu Lal Saha as its nominee for the election.
MLAs in the 60-member Tripura assembly are participating in the Rajya Sabha election as members of the Upper House of Parliament are elected by legislators in state assemblies. It is an election through proportional representation.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb held a meeting with the BJP and IPFT MLAs in his residence on Wednesday night.
BJP legislator Kalayani Roy issued a whip to its MLAs to avoid cross-voting in the election.
The Left Front currently has 15 MLAs in the Tripura assembly, while the ruling BJP has a strength of 33 and its ally IPFT has eight.
BJP legislators Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha resigned from the assembly and gave up their memberships of the party in February. They later joined the Congress.
Tripura Speaker Ratan Chakraborty in January disqualified BJP MLA Ashish Das who has joined the Trinamool Congress, while CPI(M) legislator Ramendra Chandra Debnath died recently.
The tenure of incumbent Rajya Sabha MP from Tripura, Jharna Das Baidya, will expire on April 2.
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