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GUWAHATI: Tripura’s 28 lakh-strong electorate delivered an 81% turnout in the assembly elections on Thursday, spurred by visibly greater urban enthusiasm than before but still not enough to arrest the declining trend that started in 2018 after the record high of 91.8% five years earlier. The 2018 voter turnout had dropped to 89% after two consecutive assembly elections with voting percentages exceeding 91%.
Chief electoral officer Gitte Kirankumar Dinakarrao said the final voter turnout could be higher as reports from some far-flung locations were awaited.

Tripura Assembly polls: 259 candidates in fray for 60 seats

Tripura Assembly polls: 259 candidates in fray for 60 seats

At least three people, including a CPM functionary, were wounded in an attack by unidentified people in the Boxanagar area of Sepahijala district. Two CPM polling agents were assaulted in Kakraban constituency of Gomati district, while a vehicle belonging to a polling agent of CPM candidate Pabitra Kar was attacked at Khayerpur in West Tripura.
Central forces kept violence at bay elsewhere in the northeastern state, enabling hassle-free polling across 3,337 stations to decide the electoral fate of 259 candidates. More than 1,000 booths had been identified as “sensitive” and 28 as “critical”. A total of 97 booths were entirely managed by women personnel.
The run-up to the elections had been marred by frequent clashes involving supporters of the major parties. “I am 100% confident BJP will secure an absolute majority. The party may get more seats than it did last time,” said CM Manik Saha, who is contesting the Town Bardowali seat.

Rajya Sabha MP and former CM Biplab Kumar Deb declared the saffron party would win 40 of the 60 seats at stake. BJP has fielded candidates in 55 seats and its tribal ally IPFT in six, including one where they are in “a friendly fight”.
The Left Front is contesting 47 seats and its partner Congress 13. The fledgling TIPRA Motha, tipped to play kingmaker, has fielded candidates in 42 seats while Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is vying for 28.
CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury, the unofficial CM face of the Left-Congress combine, said in a video message from Sabroom constituency that people had turned out in large numbers “against all the odds to vote for restoration of democracy”.
Voting in the 32 seats currently held by BJP was over 90%, suggesting strong anti-incumbency, sources said. Votes will be counted on March 2 along with those in Meghalaya and Nagaland, scheduled to go to polls on February 27.



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