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Tripura bypolls: Badharghat sees 79.29% turnout, BJP hopes for ‘comfortable win’

“Elections were held peacefully across all polling booths. There were some EVM malfunction issues in around 5 polling booths. These units were replaced immediately," Returning Officer Tarun Debbarma said.

Bye-elections at Badharghat assembly constituency were held on Monday. (Express photo)

Bye-elections at Badharghat assembly constituency in Tripura saw a voter turnout of 79.29 per cent till 5 pm, officials said. Speaking to indianexpress.com, Returning Officer Tarun Debbarma said elections were held peaceful even though EVM glitches were reported in 5 polling booths.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting MLA Dilip Sarkar on April 1 this year. While both BJP and Congress said there was no major violence, CPI(M) alleged that their polling agents were thrown out of elections centres in many areas.

“Elections were held peacefully across all polling booths. There were some EVM malfunction issues in around 5 polling booths. These units were replaced immediately. As per latest reports, 79.29 per cent voters have turned out to cast their mandate. There is no report of violence”, Debbarma said.

Polling started at 7 am this morning and continued till 5 pm. 58,073 voters including 28583 female voters were eligible to cast their mandate. Polling was held across 71 polling stations in the constituency.

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Bypolls were held in Tripura along with Dantewada (Chattisgarh), Pala (Kerala) and Hamirpur (UP) assembly constituency seats on Monday.

BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said the party was upbeat of securing a “comfortable win”. “We are hoping for a comfortable win. This was a peaceful election and polls should be like this. We thank all voters who came out to reflect their mandate in EVM units,” Sinha said.

Opposition Congress, meanwhile, took a dig at the Election Commission. “We didn’t find the existence of Election Commission in polls held in the last 18 months in Tripura. Those include the Lok Sabha polls and three-tier rural body elections. This time was different. We have found a good role of the ECI,” senior Congress leader Subal Bhowmik said.

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Bhowmik said electors were stopped from going out to vote in certain localities but added that there was no major violence anywhere near polling stations.

The CPI (M), meanwhile, alleged that polling agents of the party were thrown out of election centres in many areas. “We don’t have full reports yet. The poll process was better than previous elections but it was not entirely free and fair,” the party said.

Late Dilip Sarkar was a five-time former Congress legislator who defected to Trinamool Congress in 2016 and further moved to BJP in 2017. He contested from Badharghat assembly constituency in 2018 Assembly polls on a BJP ticket and emerged victorious.

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He was elected MLA for the first time in 1988 and served as minister in the Congress-TUJS government from 1988 till 1993. Sarkar contested against former CPI (M) MP Jharna Das Baidya in 2018 assembly elections at Badharghat assembly constituency and won with a margin of 5,448 votes.

First published on: 23-09-2019 at 07:14:46 pm
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