Agartala, Mar 7: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has taken an early lead in 44 of the 60-assembly seats in Tripura, with incumbent Chief Minister Manik Sarkar leading by over 2,000 votes from his Bhanpur seat. Mr Sarkar is leading by over 2,000 votes from Bhanpur constituency in West Tripura over his nearest rival Congress candidate Saha Alam. He has been winning from this seat for three consecutive terms.
According to other early trends, CPI(M) is flexing its muscle in South Tripura leading in Manu, Ompi, Sabrom, Radhakishorepur, Matabari and Birganj Assembly constituencies. They have also taken a sizable lead in Kadamtala, Kurti and Pabiachora constituencies in North Tripura and Barjola, Asharambari, Teliamura and Khoai in West Tripura. The Congress leads in Kailashabha, Krishnanagar and Belonia.
Apart from about 700 observers and 2,500 counting personnel, the EC had made a three-tier security arrangement around each counting hall at 19 stations of Tripura, while imposing several restrictions on the political parties during the counting.
Congress emerged as frontrunner leading in 28 of the 60 assembly constituencies of Meghalaya where election was held on March 3.
The Nationalist Congress Party was taking a lead in 13 seats while United Democratic Party in seven and others were leading in nine constituencies.
Counting of votes for the 59 assembly seats began at 0800 hrs.
Election to the Baghmara seat in South Garo Hills was countermanded following the death of Congress MLA and candidate Sengran M Sangma.
Polling would be held there on March 22, while counting will be held on March 24.
The Election Commission (EC) has made all arrangements for the smooth counting of votes in the states which began at 0800 hrs this morning.