Tripura by-election held peacefully


Agartala : Over 82 percent of the 29,705 electorate cast their votes Thursday in the politically important by-election to the Town Bordowali assembly constituency in Tripura, officials here said.

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“The polling, which began at 7 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m., was peaceful,” said Dulal Das, returning officer of the Town Bordowali constituency, which comprises parts of capital city Agartala and its adjacent areas. The counting will be held Monday.

In last month’s Lok Sabha elections, the assembly segment recorded 75 percent polling.

The constituency fell vacant following the death of sitting Congress legislator and former Tripura chief minister Sudhir Ranjan Majumder Jan 4.

The main opposition Congress and Trinamool Congress have formed an alliance to fight the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front in the by-election.

The deal with the Congress was finalised on the instruction of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, said Arun Chandra Bhowmik, chairman of the Trinamool Congress’ Tripura unit.

The Trinamool Congress contested separately against both Congress and Left Front in the elections to the two Lok Sabha seats in Tripura last month.

Though there are five contenders in the by-poll, the main contest is between the Congress nominee and former chairman of the Agartala municipal council Ashish Saha and the CPI-M-led Left Front aspirant and Forward Bloc state secretary Shyamal Roy.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded its state vice-president Sujit Datta, elder brother of a CPI-M legislator.

Though the Forward Bloc, following a dispute over seat-sharing with the CPI-M, had fought last year’s Tripura assembly elections separately, the junior partner returned to the Front later.