Sarkar confident of winning more seats in Tripura
Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who was among the early voters to cast his vote here on Thursday, said the Left Front is going to get more seats with more percentage of votes it actually garnered during the last Assembly Elections.
Sarkar, who has served as the Chief Minister of Tripura since March 1998, said there is no tension at all.
"It's a festive mood. I am also a participant of this festival. So, there is no tension. Left Front is going to get more seats with more percentage of votes it actually garnered during the last assembly elections," said Sarkar.
"It doesn't matter. You see during this period so many people actually deserted our opposition camp. They joined to us and thereby we are very hopeful that we are going to cross the last years’ margin," he added, when asked that there are 22 seats where the margin of votes was less than 1,000 in 2008.
The CPI (M)-led Left Front pulled off an emphatic victory for a fourth consecutive term, winning 49 seats in the 60-member legislature in the 2008 assembly polls.
Election to the 60-member Tripura assembly began at 7 a.m. today amidst tight security.
Voters were seen queuing up long before the voting began. An electorate of 23,52,505, including 11,64,656 women, will decide the electoral fate of 249 candidates.
Prominent candidates in the fray apart from the Chief Minister are Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury, Higher Education Minister Anil Sarkar, former Chief Minister Samir Ranjan Burman and TPCC President Sudip Ray Barman.
The main contest here is between the Left Front and its allies, and the Congress and its partners.
The CPI (M), the dominant partner in the Left Front, is contesting in 56 seats. The RSP will battle it out in two seats, and the CPI and Forward Block are contesting in one seat each.
The Congress is contesting in 48 seats and its alliance partners INPT in 11 and National Conference of Tripura in one.
Of the 3,041 booths, 409 have been identified as very sensitive, 535 booths as very sensitive and 726 booths as sensitive.
Additional security arrangements have been put in place to avoid any untoward incident during the voting process. Altogether 250 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to maintain law and order.
The BSF has sealed the 856 km-long border with Bangladesh and deployed additional forces to prevent infiltration.
The Election Commission has formed flying squads and Static Surveillance Teams to combat the menace of cash doles and bribes and carrying of illegal arms.
In the last five years, in the three elections that the state has seen, the polling percentage was more than 90 percent. Tripura has a tradition of high turnout and it is expected that the voting will pick up as the day progresses.
Tripura has been under the Left Front rule for two decades now and if it wins this time, it will be its fifth straight term in power.