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HomeNationalAhead of counting, Tripura BJP holds a meeting of its candidates, reviews...

Ahead of counting, Tripura BJP holds a meeting of its candidates, reviews the election MIGMG News

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With barely a week to go before the counting of votes, the ruling BJP in Tripura held a meeting of its 55 candidates in the assembly elections, which Chief Minister Manik Saha described as the most peaceful in the history of the northeastern state.

Saha told reporters that Friday’s meeting – attended by leaders including state vice-president Jishnu Devvarma, state BJP president Rajib Bhattacharjee, state in-charge Mahesh Sharma and Phanindranath Sharma – reviewed the polls and discussed many issues such as ways to maintain law and order across the state to ensure peaceful counting of votes on March 2.

The saffron party contested 55 of the total 60 seats and awarded five seats to its alliance partner, the Tripura Indigenous People’s Front. The BJP’s main competition is with the Left Front-Congress partnership, while royal scion Pradot Kishore’s TIPRA Mota party is also seen as having significant influence. It swept the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council elections two years ago.

While the BJP exudes confidence of a smooth return to power, the opposition Left Front-Congress partnership claims it is on track to oust the party with a large majority. CPM state secretary Jitendra Chaudhary said two days ago, “The ruling party will come down to single digits. We cannot comment on the exact results as that would also be a false prediction. Any real exit poll must take into account the spontaneous voting of the people and we feel this suggests that the mandate will go against the BJP and in favor of peace, tranquility, democracy and secularism.”

Chaudhary said that out of the 20 seats reserved for Scheduled Tribes, the Left Front would get some seats but “others” would also get seats, without naming any political party. A total of 259 candidates, including 31 women, participated in the polls.

While the state voted on February 16 without major incidents of violence, barring five “stray incidents”, a spate of incidents of post-voting violence has since rocked the state and at least 30 people have been arrested in 22 cases. Over 20 people were injured and one died. Both the BJP and the opposition appealed to the people for peace.

Tripura elections witnessed high voter turnout. The Assembly polls in 2013 had 93.57 percent turnout, and in 2018, 89.8 percent turnout.

While the most recent turnout this year was recorded as 89.95 percent, it rose to about 92 percent when postal ballots were added.


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