Tripura : Opposition Parties Allege Violence, Gathering Of Hooligans To Disrupt By-Polls

 

  • NET Web Desk

As voting for bye-elections is underway along four assembly segments in Tripura – Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar, opposition parties alleged voters were being intimidated and prevented from casting their ballots.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) claimed that its supporters were prevented from entering polling places and claimed that BJP employees had gathered on the roadways and were attempting to stop voters from leaving the booths.

In the meantime, the TMC candidate from Jubarajnagar constituency – Mrinal Kanti Debnath asserted that hooligans have been intimidating voters since Wednesday night, preventing them from exercising their right to vote with utmost liberty.

The party’s Agartala candidate Panna Deb claimed that BJP’s motorcycle-mounted goons or ‘Bike Baahini’ were threatening voters; on their way to polling centres.

In addition, Deb stated there was no security personnel on the streets, where these alleged breaches took place.

Addressing the mediapersons, the Tripura Chief Minister – Manik Saha refuted such allegations; and claimed that “polling is being held in a peaceful manner”.

“The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken all necessary measures to uphold law and order and increase voter trust. Democracy is established everywhere. ECI is making all arrangements. I think there is no basis for any accusations made by anyone.” – Saha mentioned.

He also expressed confidence on his victory, and predicted that the BJP will triumph in all four constituencies. Additionally, the chief minister urged voters to cast their ballots without favour or fear.

“There is no ground for allegations. If there were any incidents of attack or violence, it can’t be tolerated. We don’t encourage such incidents. People should come out and vote freely.” – he added.

Out of the 221 polling stations, 148 were categorized ‘normal’ as per security assessment, four were marked ‘critical’, 59 ‘vulnerable’ and 10 were marked ‘critical and vulnerable’ based on the prior history of violence, voter participation, local threat perceptions, etc.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) – Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte earlier said that 25 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) were deployed to maintain law and order during voting hours; and assured of “blanket security” to ensure free and fair by-polls in these constituencies.

Around 33.18 per cent of 1.89 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 11 AM in by-polls to four assembly constituencies in Tripura on Thursday. Polling along the four seats is underway in 221 booths since 7 AM, which will continue till 5 PM.