Tripura recorded over 81 per cent polling till 4 pm in the one-day election to the 60-member Tripura Assembly on Thursday (February 16), a senior EC official said.
The official said the voting percentage, which is higher than last year, is expected to increase as 50,000 voters are still standing in queues at the polling stations to exercise their franchise.
“Till 4 pm, an average 81.11 per cent polling was recorded in all the 60 Assembly constituencies, while around 50,000 voters are still in queues when the report came in last,” additional chief electoral officer U J Mog told PTI.
Voters who are in the queues and took tokens by 4 pm will be allowed to cast their votes even after 6 pm or beyond, he added.
Also read: BJP will get absolute majority, says Tripura CM Manik Saha
In the 2018 Assembly election, voting had continued beyond the stipulated time till 9.30 pm and the overall turnout was 79 per cent.
Bru refugees who recently resettled in the state took part in the polling for the first time. Of the total 37,136 Bru population in the state 14,005 are eligible to vote.
Voting began at 7 am in all the 3,337 polling stations and gained pace as the day progressed.
The election was marred by a few untoward incidents. Police said three CPI(M) activists were injured in two incidents.
Three CPI(M) activists were injured in two separate attacks at Kakraban in Gomati district and Boxanagar in Sepahijala district. The EC received some complaints and reports of threats and intimidation to the voters. These were addressed in a professional manner, Mog said.
As many as 400 companies of central forces and state armed police were deployed in the state to conduct free, fair and peaceful election.
Altogether 28.13 lakh voters, 13.53 lakh of them women and 65,000 new, will decide the fate of 259 aspirants.
BJP is contesting in the largest number of 55 of the 60 constituencies in Tripura, while its ally – the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) put up candidates in six seats. The Left Front, which lost to the BJP-IPFT combine in 2018 after a 20-year-long stint, is contesting in 47 seats.
Congress, which has allied with the Left in the state for the first time, has fielded candidates in 13 seats.
The regional Tipra Motha is in the poll fray from 42 seats without any ally. A total 58 independents are also in the fray.
Also read: High turnout in Tripura polls; ruling BJP uncertain, Left-Congress alliance upbeat
Chief Minister Manik Saha who won the by-election from Bardowali Town constituency is seeking to return from the same seat, while CPI (M) state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury who is the face of Left-Congress combine, is contesting from Sabroom Assembly seat.
Notably Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, a member of the erstwhile royal family in the state and a member of Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council is not contesting the elections.
(With inputs from agencies)