Tripura: Over 95,000 Electorates To Decide CPIM & BJP’s Fate In By-Election On September 05

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, September 05, 2023: As the clock ticks down to the highly anticipated by-election in the Sepahijala district of Tripura, voters in the 20-Boxanagar and 23-Dhanpur assembly constituencies are gearing up to exercise their democratic rights. With mere hours left before the polling stations open their doors, a total of 90,074 eligible voters are poised to cast their votes on Tuesday.

A diverse pool of nine candidates initially threw their hats into the ring, with both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPIM] fielding two contenders each, while the remaining five emerged as independent candidates. However, following rigorous scrutiny, one independent candidate’s nomination was rejected, leaving four candidates competing in each of the Dhanpur and Boxanagar constituencies.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Puneet Agarwal, revealed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) declared this by-election on August 8, implementing the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The polling date is set for September 05, with the counting of votes scheduled for September 08.

In total, 95,075 voters, comprising 48,110 males, 45,124 females, 160 service personnel, 1,217 elderly citizens aged 80 and above, and 463 Persons with Disabilities (PwD), will cast their ballots in the upcoming election. The constituencies boast 51 polling stations in Boxanagar and 59 in Dhanpur, and to ensure security, the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) has already been deployed, while Section 144 has been imposed. Additionally, the Border Security Force (BSF) has been directed to intensify patrolling along the border areas to deter infiltrations and unauthorized movements.

The Boxanagar assembly constituency became vacant due to the unfortunate passing of CPIM MLA Samsul Haque, while Union Minister of State Pratima Bhoumik’s resignation as the MLA of Dhanpur necessitated the by-election for that seat.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conducted an extensive campaign in both constituencies, with prominent figures such as Chief Minister Prof. Dr. Manik Saha, Rajya Sabha MP Biplab Kumar Deb, Union Minister of State Pratima Bhoumik, BJP State President Rajib Bhattacharjee, members of the state’s council of ministers, and MP Rebati Tripura rallying their supporters.

On the opposition front, the CPIM organized door-to-door and street corner campaigns led by former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, State Secretary Jitendra Choudhury, former MLA Sudhan Das, and GMP General Secretary Radha Charan Debbarma.

Notably, opposition parties, including CPIM, Congress, and the TIPRA Motha Party, held two closed-door meetings ahead of the by-election. Pradesh Congress chose not to field candidates and instead threw their support behind the CPIM candidates. In response, a faction of former Congress leaders and former Minister Billal Miah joined the BJP, aligning themselves with CM Dr. Saha in Boxanagar. Meanwhile, TIPRA Motha’s MLA Animesh Debbarma clarified their party’s stance, stating that they are neither aligned with BJP nor CPIM in the by-election.

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