74 percent voting in Tripura by-poll by afternoon

Agartala, Feb 13 (IANS) Around 74 percent votes were cast till afternoon in the by-election to the Amarpur assembly seat in Tripura on Saturday, an election official said.

Voting started at 8 a.m. amidst tight security measures and will continue till 5 p.m.

There are over 38,270 eligible voters, including 18,807 women, in the assembly segment.

“There is no untoward incident reported so far and the polling was completely peaceful and smooth. Around 74 percent votes were recorded till afternoon,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer, Debashish Modak told IANS.

There were a total of 51 polling stations.

Though there are seven candidates in the by-poll, the main contest is likely to be between ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) nominee Parimal Debnath, Congress’ Chanchal Dey and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Ranjit Das. There are four other aspirants from local parties.

The by-election to the Amarpur assembly constituency was necessitated following the resignation of CPI-M legislator Manoranjan Acharjee after his reported involvement in molestation of a minor girl.

Acharjee, who was elected to the assembly in 2008 and again in 2013 from Amarpur assembly constituency, has denied the charges.

“I was let down by a section of party men who do not tolerate me,” the 54-year-old leader told IANS.

The CPI-M expelled him on charges of wrongdoings.

The counting of votes would take place on February 16.

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