Agartala: Around 14.66 per cent of 1.89 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 9 AM in by-polls to four assembly constituencies in Tripura on Thursday, election officials said.

Polling to the Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar seats is taking place in 221 booths, and it will continue till 5 PM.

No untoward incident has been reported in any of the booths since polling began at 7 AM, police said.

However, the residence of TMC candidate for Surma assembly seat, Arjun Namasudra, in Bamancherra in Dhalai district was attacked by unidentified persons on Wednesday night.

“The candidate is unhurt but his vehicle was vandalised by miscreants,” Dhalai Superintendent of Police Ramesh Yadav told PTI.

TMC state president Subal Bhowmik alleged that BJP-backed goons had attacked Namasudra’s house and also tried to beat up a polling agent.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer U J Mog said that Town Bardowali constituency, where Chief Minister Manik Saha is contesting, has witnessed the highest polling of 15.29 per cent till 9 AM on Thursday.

A total of 25 companies of central forces, apart from Tripura State Rifles (TSR), have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.

As many as 1,89,032 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the electoral fate of 25 candidates in the fray.

The by-elections in Agartala and Town Bardowali constituencies were necessitated after Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha quit as BJP MLAs and joined the Congress in February.

Surma seat in Dhalai district fell vacant after BJP legislator, Asish Das, was disqualified by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty and by-poll to Jubarajnagar was necessitated following the death of sitting CPI(M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath.

The chief minister, who is not a member of the assembly, is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency against Congress nominee Asish Saha.

Trinamool Congress and Left Front have fielded candidates in all the four seats.
The votes will be counted on June 26.

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