91.38 pc turnout recorded in Tripura Assembly polls

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Agartala, Feb 24: An estimated 91.38 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the 10th Tripura Legislative Assembly polls, held yesterday, with all the polling officials, barring 21 polling parties, who conducted elections in remote locations of the state, safely depositing the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

An official report received here today stated that about 15,010 polling staff deposited the EVMs till about 0300 hours this morning and the machines were placedinto the strong room. The counting is scheduled to be held on March 7 after the Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections on March 3 and 5 respectively.

The report added that the Election Commission of India (ECI) had received altogether 15 election-related complaints so far, most of which were against security personnel and micro-observers appointed for conducting free and fair elections in the northeastern state.

Police said 50 minor incidents were registered till last night and about 30 people were injured in poll-related violence in different parts of the state, six of whom had been shifted to the Agartala Government Medical College and Hospital.

''Mainly, the ruling CPI(M) and Opposition Congress supporters were the victims of the incidents while a group of unknown miscreants set a house afire in the tea garden area of Sadar North last night. Barring these incidents, the election was peaceful,'' police said.

Altogether 200 central paramilitary companies, bolstered by day-ong air-surveillance, ensured peaceful polling at 2,391 booths spread across 60 Assembly constituencies.

While terming the huge turnout as a ''vote for change'', AICC general secretary and Union Minister of State attached to the Prime Minister's Office Prithviraj Chavan predicted a Congress victory and expressed satisfaction on the security arrangements made by the ECI.

However, Left Front spokesperson Goutam Das complained about ''high-handedness'' of the security forces and alleged that a large number of voters returned without casting their votes in various parts of the state.

UNI

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