Tripura is the first of three northeastern states that head to assembly elections this year. Meghalaya and Nagaland will be voting later this month.
The tussle for the hotseat is going to be interesting in Tripura with regional party TIPRA Motha, led by royal scion Pradyot Debbarma gaining confidence as well as people's trust with their demand for Greater Tipraland.
The Congress and CPI-M will look to dent the vote shares while harbouring hopes of causing an upset. However, it is the ruling BJP that looks all set to come to power again, exuding confidence during the campaigning.
The voting for the Tripura Assembly elections closed at 4 pm, with the voter turnout recorded at 81.10 per cent, informed the Election Commission on Thursday.
The fate of the 259 candidates will be sealed in the ongoing polls for 60 Assembly seats.
In the 2019 Tripura General elections, the total voter turnout was recorded at 82.40 %.
Tripura's Chief Electoral Officer said that the state recorded 81.1 per cent voter turnout till 4 pm.
EVM malfunctioning was reported in as many as 40 to 45 places across the state, the CEO mentioned. However, all the machines were replaced and voting resumed soon, the CEO said, adding that the ECI is sending additional forces wherever required, reported PTI.
The state units of both Congress and BJP in Tripura along with BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia got notices from the Election Commission for seeking votes on Twitter while polling was underway in the state, reported PTI.
Tripura witnessed a voter turnout of 69.96 per cent as of 3 pm, as per election officials. Despite that, a significant number of voters are still queued up to exercise their right at many polling stations during the last hour of voting. The final voting turnout is predicted to exceed 85 per cent.
Senior citizens and divyangs were helped out by volunteers of ECI at polling stations to see out successful polls.
#ECI volunteers facilitate senior citizens & Divyang Voters at polling stations during #TripuraElections2023 .— Election Commission of India #SVEEP (@ECISVEEP) February 16, 2023
Participation of our elderly and PwD voters is an inspiration for all of us, especially young voters.#ECI #AssemblyElections2023 #IVote4Sure pic.twitter.com/NGLEjUY27o
Bru voters were able to exercise their franchise after 25 years owing to rehabilitation and registraion of voters in Tripura. They came out in large numbers in Haduklaupara in the 47 Ambassa assembly constituency in Tripura's Dhalai district.
Tipra Motha chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman displayed confidence that his fledgling front will leave a mark in the ongoing assembly elections.
Interacting with ANI after casting his vote on Thursday, he claimed that his party will win as many as 31 seats in the state polls.
There has been an increase in seizures of liquors, drugs and freebies distributed by political parties in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya. The increase in seizures by the EC is about 20 times as compared to the 2018 elections.
The Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura issued notice to state Congress and BJP party for for "an appeal for vote in the favour" of their own parties tweeted from their official handles after the imposition of Model Code of Conduct.
#TripuraElections2023 | Office of the Chief Electoral Officer sends notices to Tripura Congress and BJP for "an appeal for vote in the favour" of their own parties tweeted from their official handles after the imposition of Model Code of Conduct. pic.twitter.com/vNWBVm04vs— ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2023
The assembly election saw 51.35 per cent voter turnout till 1 pm and Dhalai still recorded the highest 54.17 per cent, Gomati recorded at 49.69 per cent, Khiwai saw 49.67 per cent, North Tripura saw 47.57 per cent, Sepahijala recorded at 51.27 per cent, South Tripura saw 53.67 per cent, Unakoti saw 50.64 per cent and West Tripura saw 52.49 per cent.
District Election Officer of Gomati informed, "The Case has been registered. Continuous police mobile is on to dominate the area. The situation is under control now."
The Case has been registered. Continuous police mobile is on to dominate the area. The situation is under control now.— District Election Officer, GOMATI, Tripura (@DeoGomati22) February 16, 2023
TIPRA Motha Chief Pradyot Debbarma claimed that BJP has caused violence in some parts of the state.
He was quoted by ANI saying, “We got information that Dhanpur and Mohanpur have witnessed violence by the ruling party. We have complained about the violence and for the malfunctions in the EVMs. I want the entire voting process to be over by dark."
The BJP took the opportunity to release their vision document for Meghalaya with voting underway in Tripura. Meghalaya will also go to polls later this month.
BJP’s Meghalaya Vision Document-2023.— BJP (@BJP4India) February 16, 2023
An unwavering commitment to serving the people of Meghalaya.
Read more at https://t.co/4MKujA8HO8 pic.twitter.com/oJWf8u0XOc
All 3,337 polling stations across Tripura are being covered by Web Casting and Micro Observers in order to maintain transperancy in the voting process, as per All India Radio News.
Former Tripura Chief Minister and BJP MP Biplab Kumar Deb has cast his vote in the Tripura assembly elections
Gomati | BJP MP CM Biplab Deb cast his vote for #TripuraElection2023 today.— ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2023
He says, "We don't see any election as big or small. Public is supreme & it's our duty to respect them. They gave us power in 2018 & despite COVID, we worked in all sectors of state. People know this." pic.twitter.com/PtGMl2LcPG
The Tripura Assembly Election witnessed voter turnout of 32.06 per cent till 11 am. Polling will be continue till 4 pm today.
According to data shared by EC, Dhalai recorded the highest at 33.92 per cent, Gomati saw 30.57 per cent, Khowai at 30.88 per cent, North Tripura was logged at 29.48 per cent, Sepahijala at 31.72 per cent, South Tripura saw 33.61 per cent, Unakoti saw 31.85 per cent and West Tripura at 33.18 per cent.
The leader of opposition in the Tripura Assembly, Manik Sarkar has alleged attacks on the Left Front polling attacks in several parts of the state. He said that polling agents were attacked and thrown out of polling booths at Dhanpur, his home ground.
Sarkar said that common people blockaded the road demanding free and fair polls raising slogans that they would not allow others to cast their vote if they were obstructed.
Manik Sarkar said, "The ECI has mandate to ensure everyone can vote freely and fairly."
Moreover, the former Tripura Chief Minister claimed that parts of Udaipur in Gomati district, Belonia in South Tripura and few other places witnessed some form of violence today. However, Sarkar said that further comments from him in that regard will only come after cross checking the facts.
After the matter was brought to the attention of CEO Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte, he assured suitable action. He said that officials on the ground were not responding positively as they were busy in strong rooms.
With voting in Tripura underway, reports of sporadic violence have emerged from across the state. As per the reports, a CPI(M) supporter was thrashed outside Kalacherra polling booth in Shantirbaazar constituency in the South Tripura district.
A source was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "The victim was rushed to hospital by our officials though he was not able to tell the names of attackers. Officer in-charge of the local police station has gone out for search based on photographs available. Suo Motu FIR has been lodged in Shantirbaazar PS. We will arrest the culprits soon."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged the people of Tripura to vote in record numbers in a bid to "strengthen the festival of democracy."
As Tripura votes today, PM Modi wrote on Twitter, "Urging the people of Tripura to vote in record numbers and strengthen the festival of democracy. I specially call upon the youth to exercise their franchise."
Urging the people of Tripura to vote in record numbers and strengthen the festival of democracy. I specially call upon the youth to exercise their franchise.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 16, 2023
As per the latest data shared by the Election Commission, West Tripura saw 14.56 per cent voting till 9 am, while Dhalai recorded 13.62 per cent, Gomati 12.99 per cent, Khowai 13.08 per cent, North Tripura 12.79 per cent, Sepahijala 13.61 per cent, Unakoti 13.34 per cent and South Tripura 14.34 per cent.
Former Tripura Chief Minister and the current leader of oppostion in the Tripura assembly, Manik Sarkar has cast his vote in Agartala.
Agartala, Tripura | LoP and former CM Manik Sarkar casts his vote in Assembly elections#TripuraElection2023 pic.twitter.com/IccUvDEUne— ANI (@ANI) February 16, 2023
The Tripura Assembly elections recorded 13.23% voter turnout till 9 am.
Meanwhile, the first-time voters were also seen expressing their excitement to exercise their franchise.
Anushree Bhattacharjee, a first-time voter from 6-Agartala AC is excited to cast her first vote for #tripuraassemblyelection2023.@ECISVEEP— CEO, Tripura (@ceotripura) February 16, 2023
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha casted his vote for the assembly elections.
He said, "I offered prayers in the morning and prayed for peaceful voting everywhere. You can see people have come out to vote. I am confident that BJP will definitely form the Government here."
I have cast my vote at Tulsibati School under 8-Town Bordowali constituency.— Prof.(Dr.) Manik Saha (@DrManikSaha2) February 16, 2023
My appeal to all voters of Tripura is to participate in the festival of democracy & exercise their democratic rights to build "Unnat Tripura, Shrestha Tripura". pic.twitter.com/IU7lsfaH0G