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Tripura election 2018 highlights: Voter turnout over 78%, VVPATs used for 1st time

The polling for 59 seats was peaceful with thousands of central paramilitary forces fanning across the northeastern state.

Tripura Elections 2018 Updated: Feb 18, 2018 22:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Tripura elections,Bharatiya Janata Party,Tripura
Voters outside Bhati Abhay Nagar in Agartala on Sunday. BJP’s Sudip Roy Barman is the sitting MLA from Agartala.(ANI Twitter Photo)

At least 76 per cent of over 25.73 lakh voters exercised their franchise for the Assembly polls on Sunday in Tripura, where the BJP is trying to dislodge the Left Front after an unbroken 25-year stint in power, officials said.

The polling for 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly was peaceful with thousands of central paramilitary forces fanning across the northeastern state.

There were reports of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) at some polling stations which were rectified.

Here are the highlights:

9.35pm: Voter turnout till now (around 9 pm) is 78.56 %. Voting is still underway at few polling stations. Voting slips were distributed till 4 pm and those voters are at the booths: EC

7.15pm: 76% voter turnout in 41 constituencies, ANI reports.

5.24pm: EC says voter turnout is 74% till 4pm and is expected to go up as people are still waiting in line.

“No incidents of violence were reported from anywhere in the state. Two crude bombs were recovered which were disposed off,” says Election Commission.

5.23pm: EC says polling has been rescheduled to March 12 in one constituency because of one candidate’s demands.

5.20pm: “There were several complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs, many were found to be false. Twelve ballot units were replaced,” says Election Commission during press conference.

5.13pm: The VVPAT was used for the first time in all the polling booths in Tripura: Election Commission

4.10pm: ANI reports 65% voter turnout till 3pm.

3.14pm: A number of EVMs and VVPAT system in the state have been reported to be malfunctioning. Indo-Tibetan Border Police jawans are deployed at polling booth centers in South Tripura and Gomati.

2.05pm: In the 2013 and 2008 Assembly polls, Tripura scripted a record in the electoral history in India by casting 92 per cent and 91 per cent votes respectively.

2pm: An election department official said snags in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) attached with VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in over 150 polling stations, resulted in slow balloting across the state.

1.45pm: It (polling) is going on smoothly. We hope the momentum carries on. There were couple of issues in EVMs in the morning. Our team has resolved the issue. We will be able to complete polling before the stipulated time: Sriram Taranikanti, Chief Electoral Officer Tripura.

1.28pm: “The PM had appealed the people of Tripura to come out to vote. We are confident that people will listen to him and join us in our slogan of ‘Chalo Paltai’, says BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav.

1.15pm: 45.86% turnout till 1pm.

1.10pm: Tripura BJP chief Biplab Kumar Deb says CPI-M cannot win by threatening voters.

1pm: Congress candidate Birajit Sinha has accused polling officers of “misbehavior”. He said the DM was called and polling process then continued peacefully.

12.30pm: Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura Sriram Taranikanti said a team of 180 engineers is working to solve EVM snags. He said no incidents of violence have been reported.

12pm: CPI-M candidate Bijoy Laxmi Singha alleges “rough behaviour” from security staff at Kamalpur’s polling booths 54 and 55.

11.33am: 23.25% turnout recorded till 11am, reports ANI.

11.20am: According to reports, voting in various polling booths has been delayed due to technical issues in EVMs. Polling is yet to kick off in constituencies such as Kurti-Kadamtala, Bamutia and Bagbasa. The chief election officer has stated that the replacement of the machines is on.

11am: Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore too has urged the people to vote in huge numbers.

10.41am: CM Manik Sarkar’s wife said she was confident that the ruling CPI-M would continue to stay in power.

10.20am: BJP national president Amit Shah tweets, “I urge all my brothers and sisters of Tripura to come out and vote in large numbers. Your one vote will lay the foundation of a prosperous and developed Tripura.”

10.15am: According to an All India Radio, EVM malfunctioning reports have surfaced in a Banamalipur constituency’ polling booth. In Badarghat constituency, one EVM is also reported to be replaced.

10am: “We want a government that can push for development in the state, and understand our problems and requirements,” a voter told ANI.

9.50am: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, also an MLA from Dhanpur constituency, casts his vote in Agartala.

9.40am: 11% voters’ turnout recorded till 9 am.

9.15am: Polling in Agartala, the state capital.

8.50am: BJP Tripura president Biplab Kumar Deb cast his vote in Udaipur. Deb says, “These election results will be historic, we will definitely win. PM & Amit Shah ji called me & gave good wishes.”

Tripura BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb casts his vote on Sunday. (ANI Twitter)

8.15am: The CPI(M) dubbed “unusual” the appointment of a special observer for the Assembly election in Tripura on Saturday and objected to his closed-door meeting with the state BJP president.

8.10am: Manik Sarkar, who is running for his fifth term as the chief minister, led the CPI(M)’s campaign addressing around 50 rallies in the state.

8am: “Men and women in large numbers queued up in front of many polling stations well before polling opened at 7 a.m. in the entire state. Polling ends at 4 p.m.,” said Sriram Taranikanti, the Chief Electoral Officer.

7.45am: “We want a government that can push for development in the state,” say people outside a polling booth in Udaipur.

7.30am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges people of Tripura to cast their vote.

7.15am:The much-awaited polling in this northeastern state will decide the electoral fortunes of 292 candidates, including 23 women. The BJP and the Congress party are looking to root out the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has been ruling the state for the past 25 years.

7.10am: “Apprehending troubles by some tribal outfit, a record 50,000 paramilitary and other state security personnel have been deployed while two air surveillance team led by senior officials are conducting surveillance by helicopters,” Sriram Taranikanti, the Chief Electoral Officer, said.

7am: Polling begins for 59 out of the total 60 seats.

Voters stand in a queue outside a polling booth in Udaipur, Tripura, on Sunday. (ANI Twitter)

(With inputs from Priyanka Deb Barman)

First Published: Feb 18, 2018 07:05 IST