Agartala: Over 80 per cent votes were cast till 4 pm on Thursday as Tripura inched towards yet another high turnout Assembly election despite reports of sporadic violence from different parts of the state. 

According to officials of the office of Chief Electoral Officer, 81.10 per cent of voters have cast their votes till 4 PM.

With no major flare up, the polls were by and large reported to be peaceful as voters lined up in large numbers since the wee hours on Thursday. Amid tight security arrangements across all the 3,337 polling stations in Tripura, voting is likely to continue till late in the evening as massive queues were still visible outside the polling stations at 6pm.

Interestingly, major political parties in the contest have not raised any allegations of voting malpractices and congratulated the voters for their spirit. Even before the polling stations were opened for polling, people had gathered outside the booths to cast their votes in large numbers.

Speaking to EastMojo, Ajay Debnath, a voter from Badarghat assembly constituency said, “Given the previous elections we thought we would not be able to cast our votes freely. But, I am very happy to see the massive arrangements the Election Commission has put in place to allay fear among the voters. People have participated in the festival of democracy spontaneously.”

Similar was the response from Devid Murasingh, a first time voter from Santirbazar assembly constituency. He said, “People have exercised their franchise with spontaneity and this is a good sign.”

“In this fight of political parties, democracy emerged as the real winner,” Shyamal Nath, a voter of Khayerpur assembly constituency told EastMojo.

Sporadic violence

Meanwhile, some stray incidents of violence were reported from different parts of the state.

At Santir Bazar assembly constituency, one CPI leader was allegedly brutally attacked. Chandan Das and Shipan Majumder, two leaders of the Communist Party of India were injured after being attacked by miscreants and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

On the other hand, a TIPRA worker was arrested  by security personnel for allegedly indulging in a scuffle with BJP supporters in Dhanpur assembly constituency of Sepahijala district. A sharp weapon was also seized from his possession.

A CPIM polling agent identified as Ahidur Rahman, who is also the divisional secretary of the party in Boxanagar in Sepahijala district, also suffered grievous injuries as miscreants assaulted him while en route to polling stations.

Similar reports of violence and intimidation were reported from Ramnagar, Khayerpur, Majlishpur and several other constituencies but none of the incidents could disrupt the voting process due to prompt action by the security personnel.

AICC secretary Szaritha Laitphlang, who is also the in-charge of Tripura, raised a number of complaints with the office of Chief Electoral Officer.

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“In many polling stations adequate light was not fixed. In some places, stickers were fixed to cover the Congress symbol. In Matabari constituency BJP led goons have captured the booths. We have raised all the issues with the office of Chief Electoral Officer and they have responded even if in some cases they are late,” said Congress leader.  

CPIM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhary, on the other hand, congratulated the voters for taking the bold step braving the threats and intimidation from the end of the ruling party. “People’s resolve to cast their votes has defeated the ruling party’s hooligans and despite efforts to influence the elections and turn it into another farce exercise, voters have come out of homes in large groups to resist the hooligans.” He also appealed to the voters not to be afraid of the BJP’s violent tactics and to knock the doors of ECI for help.

Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party appears to be very confident as Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha told the media persons that BJP’s victory was just a matter of time.

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TIPRA supremo Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, who cast his vote in Mandaibazar assembly constituency earlier in the morning, claimed that his party would certainly get a decisive mandate from the electorate.

“We have fought the elections valiantly and I hope the results will be in our favor. I am fighting in the name of God and I am sure the almighty will bless us with the power to deliver justice.”

He has also hinted that he might not continue in politics as he would leave the state for treatment very shortly.

According to the final voter list, there were over 28 lakh eligible voters in the state.   

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Also Read | Tripura votes for 60-member assembly in first triangular contest

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