55% votes cast in Tripura West re-poll till 2 pm
Agartala: Over 55 per cent voting was reported at 168 polling stations till 2 p.m. during re-poll on Sunday in the Tripura West parliamentary constituency, election officials said.
According to the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) Arindam Nath, voting in 26 Assembly segments was peaceful with no major incident reported from anywhere in the constituency.
Voting began at 7 a.m. and will continue till 5 p.m.
A total of 141,251 voters, including 69,328 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise. Thirteen candidates, including a woman, are in the fray.
Over 7,000 security personnel belonging to central paramilitary and Tripura State Rifles have been deployed to ensure free and fair re-poll. Returning Officer Vikas Singh said at the polling stations only paramilitary troopers were deployed.
“Braving soaring summer temperatures, people exercised their franchise with huge number of paramilitary troopers guarding the vote areas,” Singh told IANS.
Singh, the District Magistrate and Collector of the West Tripura district, said in view of the rising temperature and humidity, the administration had arranged temporary sheds and drinking water for voters.
According to the Meteorological Department, in the past one week the maximum temperature has been hovering around 38 degree Celsius, four-five degrees above the normal.
Police spokesman Subrata Chakraborty said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the poll-bound areas spread across four districts. “Snags in voting machines halted polling in few places for a while, but these were corrected soon,” Chakraborty told IANS.
The Election Commission (EC) decided to conduct re-poll in 168 polling stations in 26 Assembly segments due to electoral malpractices during voting in the first phase on April 11.
Allegations of malpractices, intimidation and violence forced the EC to appoint former Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi as Special Observer and the poll panel removed Returning Officer Sandeep Mahatme and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajiv Singh.
An unprecedented number of election officials were suspended and a large number of FIRs were filed by the Assistant Returning Officers against micro observers, polling officers and political activists who either indulged in malpractices or remained mute spectators during this period.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Congress are seeking directions from the Supreme Court to hold fresh polling in the entire Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency.