In East Tripura Parliamentary constituency, where Lok Sabha elections were earlier deferred over security concerns, polling concluded on Tuesday with 80.40 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm.
Polling was held at 1,645 polling stations, spread across 30 assembly segments in six districts as 106 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) stood on guard. Out of 12,61,861 voters, 6,20,342 were women and four voters from the third gender.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said the poll process was peaceful and apart from a few scattered incidents, there were no reports on major violence or law and order situation.
“We have recorded 80.40 per cent voter turnout till 5 pm today. The final percentage might slightly increase after final compilation of data. Tight security was maintained throughout the constituency and barring a few stray minor incidents, polling passed off peacefully,” the CEO said.
The CEO further said that immediate actions were taken on all complaints related to law and order and security personnel were dispatched to bring the situation under control.
Reacting to the polls, both opposition CPI (M) and Congress congratulated the Election Commission of India (ECI) for conducting smooth polling. However, Tripura Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said, “The Election Commission made good security arrangement and adopted other corrective measures. However, BJP goons have tried to create a fear psyche among Congress supporters and forced them to return without voting in some places.”
CPI (M) state secretary Goutam Das said voters, who were identified as communist party supporters, were forced to return midway without casting votes at Khowai district, Kamalpur in Dhalai district, Hrishyamukh and Jolaibari in South Tripura, Dharmanagar in North Tripura, Pabiacherra and Fatikroy in Unakoti districts.
However, ruling BJP has alleged that its supporters were terrorised by CPI (M) cadres in South Tripura district. “CPI (M) cadres have terrorised BJP workers in many parts of South Tripura district. The police have also acted against us in several cases. We have lodged specific complaints with the Election Commission,” BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said.
Meanwhile, CPI (M) candidate for East Tripura seat Jitendra Chaudhury was unable to cast his vote as he was in Dhalai district. His purpose for travelling to Dhalai was to prevent purported attempts of poll rigging in the district.
“I had to stay in Dhalai district for last two days to save lakhs of votes from BJP activists who terrorised people. I am sure I have not done any mistake by sacrificing one vote for saving a lakh votes,” Chaudhury wrote on his Facebook page.
The CEO informed that CCTV footage from webcasting cameras would be scrutinised in the presence of representatives of all political parties at Ambassa in Dhalai district on Wednesday.
Voting started at 7 am and concluded at 5 pm in most seats on Tuesday.