Peaceful polling in Tripura assembly by-election

Agartala, June 27 (IANS) Voters queued up at polling stations on Saturday for the by-elections to two assembly seats in Tripura as the balloting began on a peaceful note, an official said.

The official said a quarter of the electorate cast their ballot at the 115 polling stations in the first two hours.

The polling began at 8 a.m.

There has been no report of any untoward incident so far, the official added.

“Polling is under way at 115 polling stations in Pratapgarh and Surma assembly segments. Central paramilitary forces and Tripura State Rifles troopers have been deployed to hold the by-polls smoothly,” the official said.

According to the officials, 50,004 voters in Pratapgarh and 42,142 in Surma assembly constituencies are eligible to cast their votes to choose their representative from the nine candidates in the fray.

The Election Commission has appointed four observers, around a 100 micro-observers and several hundred polling personnel to hold the by-polls.

Counting of ballots for the assembly seats, both reserved for the Scheduled Caste, will be held on June 30.

The by-elections were necessitated after the death of ruling CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) stalwart and former minister Anil Sarkar (Pratapgarh) and former minister Sudhir Das (Surma).

Sarkar represented his constituency for eight times in a row since 1978, Das won the Surma seat on five consecutive occasions since 1993.

Besides CPI-M, the main opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party and other smaller parties have put up candidates in Pratapgarh (in western Tripura) and Surma (in northern Tripura) assembly constituencies.

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