AGARTALA, June 22 (PTI): All necessary arrangements are in place for the by-elections to the four assembly constituencies in Tripura on Thursday, officials said.
The elections will be held in 222 polling stations in Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar seats, they said.
Polling personnel have already moved to their respective booths with election materials, including EVMs, they added.
“All necessary arrangements have been made to conduct the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner,” chief electoral officer Kiran Gitte said on Wednesday.
“All the polling stations will be manned by CRPF and BSF as the Centre has sent 25 companies of additional forces to ensure voters could exercise their democratic right fearlessly,” he said.
Webcasting facilities would be made available at all polling stations, and micro observers would be deployed to ensure a free and fair election, Gitte said.
“In addition, there will be videography facilities for surveillance outside the booths during the polling process,” he said.
A total of 1,89,032 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the four constituencies.
In all, 22 candidates are in the fray. Town Bardowali and Agartala have six candidates each, while Surma and Jubarajnagar have five nominees each.
Chief minister Manik Saha, who is not a member of the assembly, is fighting the elections from Town Bardowali against Congress’ Asish Saha. Left has fielded Raghunath Sarkar, while Sanhita Bhattacharya is the Trinamool Congress candidate.
Manik Saha, who was made the chief minister of the state last month after Biplab Deb’s sudden resignation, has to win this election. He is at present a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The by-election in Town Bardowali is being held as Asish Saha switched over to the Congress after resigning as an MLA earlier this year.
Sudip Roy Barman, who switched over to the Congress along with Asish Saha after resigning as a BJP MLA, is fighting from the Agartala seat. He is a five-time MLA from the constituency, and the by-election was necessitated because of his resignation.
The BJP has fielded Ashok Sinha from the constituency, while the CPI (M) fielded Krishna Majumder.
In Surma, BJP’s Swapna Das Paul is up against CPI (M)’s Anjan Das. The election in this seat is being held after BJP MLA Asish Das rebelled against his party, and was subsequently disqualified. The Tipra Motha has fielded Baburam Satnami from the seat, whom the Congress is supporting.
CPI (M)’s Sailendra Nath is fighting BJP’s Mailna Das in Jubarajnagar, considered a Left bastion. The bypoll to Jubarajnagar was necessitated as CPI (M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath died. The TMC has fielded candidates in all four seats as it looks to make inroads in the state, which has a large Bengali population. Senior leaders, including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, the party’s general secretary and a Lok Sabha MP, campaigned for the bypolls.