65 per cent voting in Tripura till noon

Tripura witnessed brisk and incident-free polling today with 65 per cent of the voters exercising their franchise till noon for the 60-member House.

Police said five crude bombs hidden in a bush were recovered from Bodhjungnagar area of Khayerpur constituency by a CRPF patrol party. Barring this, no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state so far in the polls which began at 7 am amid tight security.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar cast his vote in the morning at a booth in Umakanta School in Ramnagar constituency. Tripura PCC president Sudip Roy Burman and President of Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) Bijoy Hrankhawl exercised their franchise at Agartala and Kulai in Dhalai district respectively.

Voting was stopped at Sonamura in West Tripura district and Dharmanagar in South Tripura district following technical problems in the EVMs. New machines were installed and voting resumed after 10 minutes, officials said.

The Left Front hopes to return for the record fifth straight time. The main contest is between the Left Front and the Congress. CPI-M, the dominant partner in the LF, is contesting 55 seats, RSP two and CPI two and Forward Bloc one.

Congress is contesting 48 seats and its alliance partners INPT in 11 and National Conference of Tripura in one. An electorate of 23,52,505, including 11,64,656 women, are exercising their franchise in the election being contested by 249 candidates belonging to 16 political parties besides independents.

Of the 3,041 booths, 409 have been identified as very sensitive (A+), 535 booths as very sensitive (A) and 726 booths as sensitive. 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.

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