Amidst tight security, counting of votes for the 60-member Tripura assembly began across 21 stations to seal the future of 259 candidates including 20 women and 55 independents for the next five years.
A total electorate of 24,66,511 including 12,47,705 womenvoted across 3,327 polling stations on February16 in the tiny North Eastern state, where three-layer security has been put in place to secure the counting process. Around 12000 security personnel have been pressed into service.
A large number of supporters from the ruling BJP, opposition CPI-M, Congress, and TIPRA Motha gathered in the respective designated locations around the U K Academy of the city since early morning where counting of 14 constituencies of West Tripura began.
Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha accompanied by two central leaders of BJP – Dr Mahesh Sharma and Dr Sambit Patra, offered puja at Mata Tripureswari temple, one of the 51 Shakti piths – in Udaipur early in the morning before proceeding to the counting hall.
This is for the first time the Election Commission of India has appointed counting observers in each of the 60 assembly constituencies along with micro observers and other officials following the apprehension of trouble in the counting process.
More than 2000 men in uniform were deployed in the counting hall in the city besides extra mobilisation of forces in the critical locations including offices of various political parties.