Tripura polls: 25L voters decide ruling CPI(M)'s fate

Manik Sarkar is attempting a record fifth term as Tripura chief minister

Manik Sarkar is attempting a record fifth term as Tripura chief minister

Overall, 2,536,589 voters will decide the fate of 297 candidates in the fray at 3,214 polling stations across the entire state.

"I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Tripura, particularly young voters, to turn out in record numbers and cast their vote in the Assembly Elections", Modi tweeted.

The polling for 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly was held peacefully with thousands of central paramilitary forces fanning across the northeastern state.

Exhorting the people of the state to oust the CPI (M) government from power, the Prime Minister said, "They (CPI-M ) will have to answer about all their wrongdoings in the last 25 years".

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The results of the polling will be declared on March 3. The polling staffs have to be reach in their respective stations before sun set and there are not much interior booths this time in Tripura. A total of 292 candidates are contesting the elections, out of which 23 are women.

BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is the party's Tripura election in-charge, and state president Biplab Kumar Deb among others also spoke at the rallies.

In the last polls, the Left Front won 50 seats, including 19 of the 20 reserved for tribals, while the Congress won 10. The party has not fielded any candidate for Kakrabon constituency in Gomati district. The BJP has fielded candidates in 51 places, while its ally is contesting the remaining nine seats. Also, 1,000 Tripura Congress workers returned to the party in December after defecting to Trinamool in 2016. Could it be Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang or poorest Chief Minister, Tripura's Manik Sarkar?

"No leader in the state party can even remotely approximate the stature and status of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar", political analyst Rameswar Bhattacharjee said. "People strongly wish for a BJP government in Tripura". BJP is battling close behind CPI-M and is expected to give the Left front a run for their money.

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