Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tripura Assembly elections: Counting of votes begins amid tight security

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Voting in the Tripura Assembly elections began Thursday morning at 21 counting centers across the state, under tight security and in the presence of Election Commission-appointed observers. The counting of votes began at 8 a.m. The northeastern state recorded the voter turnout at 81.10 percent in February 16 elections.

The Commission has made elaborate security arrangements to ensure a smooth counting process. A three-tier security arrangement has been implemented, with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Tripura State Rifle (TRS), and Tripura Police being deployed. There are adequate security arrangements, in addition to round-the-clock patrolling by 30 vehicles manned by CRPF officers.

“Counting of votes will take place at 21 counting centers. The EC has deployed 60 election observers. All counting staff has been trained. Security arrangements and CCTV coverage have been arranged outside and inside counting centers,” Kiran Gitte, Tripura’s Chief Electoral Officer said earlier.

Gitte stated that Section 144 has been imposed in certain areas due to concerns about law and order. The Northeast state saw a triangular contest as the Congress and CPIM, longtime rivals, formed a pre-poll alliance to defeat the ruling BJP.

While the BJP seeks to retain power through an alliance with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tipra Motha, which is seen as a kingmaker in the event of a hung assembly, the Tipra Motha emerged as an influential regional party floated by royal scion Pradyot Kishore Debbarma in 2021.

The majority mark in the 60-member Tripura assembly is 30, and exit polls predicted a clear advantage for the BJP over its rivals in the state. The BJP, which had never won a single seat in Tripura prior to 2018, stormed to power in the last election in alliance with the IPFT, deposing the Left Front, which had ruled the border state for 35 years since 1978.

Today’s India-Axis According to my India exit poll, the BJP will receive 36-45 seats, while the Left Congress will receive 6-11 seats. Tipra Motha received 9-16 seats in the exit poll.

The ZeeNews-Matrize exit poll predicted that BJP-IPFT will get 29-36 seats in the 60-member House. It is expected that the Left-Congress coalition will win 13-21 seats, while Tipra Motha will win 11-16. The ETG-Times Now poll predicted that the BJP would win 24 seats, the Left-Congress would win 21, and Tipra Motha would win 14. In the 2018 assembly election, the BJP won 36 seats.

The BJP ran in 55 seats, while its ally, IPFT, ran in six. However, both allies ran candidates in the Gomati district’s Ampinagar constituency. The Left ran for 47 seats, while Congress ran for 13. The CPM ran for 43 of the 47 available seats, while the Forward Bloc, Communist Party of India (CPI), and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) each ran for one.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, as well as senior party leaders Brinda Karat, Prakash Karat, Mohammad Salim, and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, campaigned in Tripura for the party. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Dipa Dasmunshi, and Ajoy Kumar were among the Congress campaigners. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, on the other hand, did not campaign in the state.

The CPI-M-led Left Front ruled the state for nearly four decades, with a brief period when the Congress was in power between 1988 and 1993, but now both parties have joined forces to depose the BJP. Tipra Motha, which has raised the demand for Greater Tipraland, may throw the BJP and the Left-Congress alliance off guard.

Tipra Motha, led by Tripura royal scion Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, is contesting 42 seats in the state assembly. Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress, which is contesting 28 seats, may act as a spoiler, and 58 independent candidates are also running.

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