Tripura votes tomorrow: Left confident of victory, BJP giving tough fight

BJP supporters Tripura-PTI

Whilst the election outcome is uncertain, expect the BJP to increase its percentage of the vote and representation in the Tripura legislative assembly. Voting, which started at seven in the morning, will end at 4 PM.

However, political developments in Tripura in 2016 and 2017 have set the stage for their first face-to-face battle as the saffron outfit has emerged as the key opposition party in this Communist-ruled northeastern state.

Manik Sarkar, the poorest Chief Minister of the country, is leading the CPI-M-led Left Front government in the state for 25 years. Polling in the reserved Charilam seat has been rescheduled on March 12 after the death of CPI (M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma.

The CPM has fielded candidates on 57 seats, leaving one each for its alliances. "We will be able to complete polling before the stipulated time", Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura Sriram Taranikanti has said.

The results of the polling will be declared on March 3.

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Tripura has about 26 lakh voters, about half of them are women.

In their attempt to remove the Manik Sarkar-led government from the state, the BJP has tied up with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT). The BJP has fielded candidates in 51 places, while its ally is contesting the remaining nine seats.

Pachnanda along with other senior officials on Saturday held meeting with district level officers including superintendent of police and Election Commission's police observers through video conference.

Voting is being held up to 4pm at 3,174 polling stations across Tripura. There are total 25,73,414 electorate, out of which 13,05,375 are males and 12,68,027 women. Other Left leaders like Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat also supported the party's campaign. Sarkar will becomes Chief Minister for the 5th time if he wins again. He said 300 companies of central armed forces have been deployed along with state armed personnel and police, while BSF is keeping a close vigil along the 856-km-long India-Bangladesh border in Tripura, he added.

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