Tripura State Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday announced that the by-elections in the three-tier panchayats will be held on September 30.
While addressing the media in Agartala, SEC Commissioner G Kameswara Rao said the by-elections in the 3,207 gram panchayat seats, 161 panchayat samiti seats and 18 seats of zilla parishad will be held on September 30. The seats had fallen vacant since a large number of representatives had resigned after the BJP-IPFT government had assumed office in the state in March this year.
The model code of conduct in the respective areas will be in effect, starting today, Rao said.
The official also said that 7.8 lakh people are eligible to exercise their franchise during the by-elections. He added that a comprehensive list of the villages was prepared by the segregating assembly electoral rolls which are currently in force in the state.
Rao said that 1,730 polling stations will be set up for the polls which will be held through ballot boxes.
Urging SEC to ensure a “free, fair and democratic” environment during this period, CPI(M) State Secretary Bijan Dhar alleged that a large number of representatives were forced to step down ever since the new government was formed. The representatives resigned due to political pressure and terror unleashed by ruling BJP supporters, Dhar said.
Reacting to Dhar’s claims, BJP spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said the communist party was acting out of desperation as their support base was damaged after the Left Front government was ousted from the state. “No elected representative was forced to resign from their posts,” Sinha said, expressing confidence that the BJP would fare well in the bypolls.