90 percent turnout in Tripura civic pollsBy IANS
Saturday, December 11, 2010
AGARTALA - Balloting in the civic polls in the Left Front-ruled northeastern state of Tripura ended peacefully Saturday evening with around 90 percent turnout, election officials here said.
“About 90 percent of the 434,512 electors have cast their ballot across the state,” State Election Commission secretary Gobinda Chandra Bhattacharjee told reporters.
Women and aged voters queued up in large numbers well before polling booths opened at 7 a.m. and first-timer young voters too cast their votes. The state government declared a holiday Saturday to enable the voters to exercise their franchise.
The votes will be counted Tuesday.
The civic poll will decide the electoral fate of 533 candidates, including a record number of 279 women, in the elections to the 140-year-old Agartala Municipal Council (AMC) and 15 Nagar Panchayats (urban councils) across the northeastern state. Over 70 percent of the aspirants, especially women, were contesting the polls for the first time.
Candidates belonging to the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front, the Congress, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are contesting these civic polls to the total of 230 seats, including 35 seats in the AMC.
The over-month long hectic election campaign ended Thursday. Tripura Chief Minister and CPI-M politburo member Manik Sarkar,the partys central committee members Bijon Dhar, Badal Chowdhury, Congress state chief Surajit Datta and opposition leader (Congress) Ratan Lal Nath were the key campaigners for their respective parties.
The polls were held under a heavy security cover with an additional deployment of 4,700 personnel of central and state security forces.