Tripura votes tomorrow: Left confident of victory, BJP giving tough fight

Rahul Gandhi to end campaign in Tripura

Hours before Sunday's assembly elections in Left-ruled Tripura, the Election Commission has appointed a Special Observer while the authorities have sealed the global and inter-state borders with Tripura.

Around 25 lakh voters will be deciding the fate of 292 candidates including 23 women and many independent candidates in today's polls.

Mr Sarkar, who is running for his fifth term as chief minister, led the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) campaign, addressing some 50 rallies in the state.

The Left Front has seen a steady rise in its support base since 1993 when it bounced back to power, defeating the Congress-Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS) alliance. Voting in Charilam assembly constituency will be held on March 12 due to the death of CPI (M) candidate for the seat, Ramendra Narayan Deb Barma, five days ago. The party had not fielded a candidate from the Kakrabon constituency in Gomati district.

The election commission has appointed 25 general observers, eight police observers and 19 expenditure observers to oversee the poll process.

The counting of the votes will take place on March 3. The BJP, keen on expanding its footprint in the Northeast has tied up with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), considering that there are 32 percent tribal voters in the state.

"The healthcare system has broken down and the rate of suicide and crime against women in Tripura is the highest in the country", he said.

The BJP is contesting 51 seats and has left nine seats for ally IPFT.

Voting is being held up to 4pm at 3,174 polling stations across Tripura. Other CPI (M) leaders such as Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat supported the party's campaign. Sarkar will becomes Chief Minister for the 5th time if he wins again.

Director General of Police AK Shukla has said that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. While 300 companies of central armed forces were deployed, besides the state police, the BSF kept heightened vigil along the 856-km-long India-Bangladesh border in Tripura.

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