Agartala: The counting for Tripura Assembly elections will begin shortly on Saturday morning. Initial trends will start emerging within the first hour of counting. A clear picture of winning parties and candidates are expected post noon. The chief contest in the state is between Manik Sarkar-led Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A total of 307 candidates are in the fray.
The counting of votes will start at 8 am on Saturday, with the counting of postal ballots. The BJP entered a pre-poll alliance with tribal political outfit Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), while the Congress is contesting the polls alone.
The Left Front – Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) – has been in power in the state for the last 25 years, with incumbent CPI(M) leader and incumbent Chief Minister Manik Sarkar at the helm for the past 19 years.
The state went to polls on February 18. The voting was held in 59 seats, out of the total 60. Due to CPIM candidate for the Charilam constituency Ramendra Narayan Deb Barma's death, the seat will now go to polls on March 12.
The CVoter exit poll is the only major survey that predicts a CPM victory. It states that the Left Front will win 26-34 seats, while BJP combine will get 24-32 seats. That is still a big fall for the Left, which won 49 of the 60 seats in the 2013 election. The other two major exit polls see the BJP alliance storming to power. The JanKiBaat-NewsX exit poll put BJP+ firmly in power, with 35-45 seats to the 14-23 it saw the CPM winning. The AxisMyIndia exit poll saw the BJP alliance winning and even bigger mandate, with 44-50 seats to the vastly decreased 9-15 for the Left.