Altogether 249 candidates are in the fray for the the February 14 assembly elections in Tripura, a top election official said here today.
"The number of contestants is the lowest this time in the last 15 years”, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Asutosh Jindal told a 'Meet the Press' programme organized by the Agartala Press Club.
After the last date of withdrawal of candidates yesterday, it was found that 249 candidates, including 14 women, were in the fray, he said.
The candidates include representatives of 16 political parties and independents, he said.
In 2008 elections, the number of candidates was 313 including 18 women.
The CEO said the number of new voters in the age group of 18-19 years is 53,580.
Three constituencies, Karbuck in South Tripura district and Surma and Karamcherra in Dhalai district have a maximum number of seven contestants.
Of the 60 constituencies in the state, only two constituencies, Sonamura and Jolaibari, will witness direct contest and there will be multi-cornered contest in the rest 58 seats, he said.
Jindal said while Nirajoy Tripura (85) is the oldest candidate who is contesting from Chhamani constituency in Dhalai district on a CPI(M) ticket, 26-year-old Chourendra Reang is the youngest candidate contesting from Karbuck seat as an independent.
Over 20,000 employees and 250 companies of security force personnel would be deployed for the smooth conduct of the elections in the state, the CEO said.
“There will be no dearth of security forces and the central paramilitary forces have started arriving in the state. We have also asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to seal the 856 K.M long border with Bangladesh”, the CEO said.