Over 79 per cent of the total 12.5 lakh voters on Tuesday cast their votes in the deferred polling for the Tripura East parliamentary constituency.
“After the final reports from all the polling stations received, the polling percentage might touch 80 per cent. In 2014, the voting percentage in the Tripura East parliamentary seat was around 85 per cent,” an Election official said.
The officials said that in around 100 polling stations, voting was temporarily halted due to the snags of either the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) or the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.
Voting began amidst unprecedented security at 7 a.m. and formally ended at 5 p.m. A total of 1,257,944 people, including 620,291 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in 1,645 polling stations, including 31 all women ones, to decide the fate of 10 candidates, including two women.
“Braving soaring summer temperature, men and women including the young and first time voters exercised their franchise amidst huge number of paramilitary troopers guarding the balloting areas,” returning officer Vikas Singh said
Singh said that in view of the heat, they had arranged temporary sheds and drinking water for voters.
Tripura Police PRO Subrata Chakraborty said that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the mountainous tribal reserve constituency spread across six districts.
Another senior police official said that few people were arrested in Amarpur areas in southern Tripura for intimidating voters and plying bikes violating the election rules.
The main contest is expected between the CPI-M sitting MP Jitendra Choudhury, ruling BJP’s Rebati Tripura and Maharaj Kumari Pragya Deb Barman of the Congress.
A record number of around 10,000 central paramilitary force, Tripura State Rifles troopers and state police personnel have been deployed in the constituency, bordering Bangladesh, Assam and Mizoram.
Citing a “non-conducive security situation”, the poll panel last week had deferred voting for the seat from April 18 to April 23.