Tripura Assembly Election 2018 updates: 78.56% voter turnout at 9 pm, CEO to order inquiry into EVM malfunctions

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Tripura Assembly Election 2018 updates: 78.56% voter turnout at 9 pm, CEO to order inquiry into EVM malfunctions
  • 21:18 (IST)

    Election Commission says voter turnout till around 9 pm stands at 78.56 percent. EC added that voting is still underway at a few polling stations. 

  • 20:19 (IST)

    Officials confirm 76 percent voter turnout in Tripura 

    At least 76 percent of over 25.73 lakh voters exercised their franchise for the Assembly polls today in Tripura, where the BJP is trying to dislodge the Left Front after an unbroken 25-year stint in power, officials said.

    The Election Commission said in New Delhi the updated polling percentage was compiled from 41 of the 59 constituencies. At its briefing earlier, the poll watchdog had put the figures at 74 percent. — PTI

  • 19:15 (IST)

    76 percent voter turnout was recorded in 41 constituencies, reports ANI 

  • 18:49 (IST)

    Tripura chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti says he will order an inquiry into the EVM malfunctioning incidents in the state

    Input by Prabhu Mallikarjunan/101Reporters

  • 18:44 (IST)

    CPM, BJP confident of Tripura Assembly election victory

    As Sunday's voting to elect 59 of the 60 members of the Tripura Assembly passed off peacefully, the ruling CPM and BJP exuded confidence of an electoral victory in the northeastern state.

    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tripura unit President Biplab Kumar Deb said, "People want change. People strongly wish for a BJP government in Tripura. It is certain that the BJP will form the next government in Tripura." 

    Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) Tripura State Secretary Bijan Dhar said the Left parties were "overconfident" of forming the next state government.

    He said CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, "The Prime Minister and other BJP leaders always talk of Digital India, but in today's (Sunday) elections a large number of EVMs-VVPATs malfunctioned to create serious doubts about the high-pitch Digital India campaign," the Left leader said. —IANS

  • 17:49 (IST)

    Tripura Congress spokesman Harekrishna Bhowmik criticizes Election Commission for loss of voting time due to EVM malfunctioning at many booths 

    Input from Armstrong Chanambam/101Reporters

  • 17:30 (IST)

    74 percent voter turnout till 4 pm, says Election Commission 

    The Election Commission (EC) said that the poll percentage at 4 pm stood at 74 percent and it was likely to increase as people were still waiting in queues to vote. It added that there were several complaints of malfunctioning of EVMs, many of which were found to be false. ANI reports that 12 ballot units were replaced due to this malfunctioning. "No incidents of violence were reported from anywhere in the state. Two crude bombs were recovered which were disposed off," EC added. The commission also said that in one constituency, polling would be held on 12 March, as it was rescheduled due to the demands of a candidate. 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    VVPAT was used for the first time in all the polling booths in Tripura, says Election Commission

  • 16:45 (IST)

    Tripura CEO Sriram Taranikanti says polling to continue in many booths. He adds that voter turnout until 3 pm stands at 67 percent 

  • 16:42 (IST)

    Polling continuing in certain places in Tripura 

    NDTV reports that Election Commission said voting would close at 4 pm. The report adds that voting is continuing in places where people have been waiting in queues to cast their vote, polling will conclude once they all cast their votes. 

  • 16:35 (IST)

    120-year-old Jarina Bibi comes to vote assisted by her grandchildren in Radhakishorepur Assembly constituency

    Input from Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters 

  • 16:24 (IST)

    A voter says he came to the polling booth at 7 am, but polling hadn't started until 10-10:30 am due to some issue with the EVMs

    Input from Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters 

  • 16:20 (IST)

    Will complete polling before stipulated time, says Tripura CEO Sriram Taranikanti 

    "It is going on smoothly. We hope the momentum carries on," Tripura Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti said about the Tripura polls to ANI. "There were a couple of issues in EVMs in the morning. Our team has resolved the issue. We will be able to complete polling before the stipulated time," he added.  

  • 16:14 (IST)

    Voter says he does not expect much from any party but has come to vote as it matters

    Input from Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters

  • 16:12 (IST)

    65 percent voter turnout till 3.00 pm, reports ANI 

  • 16:06 (IST)

    Additional CEO Tapash Roy said polling percentage till 3 pm stands at about 60 percent 

  • 16:02 (IST)

    Visuals of voters waiting for their turn at a polling booth in Raj Nagar, Agartala

  • 15:58 (IST)

    A voter from Mungiakami block says they have queued up to vote since morning so that peace is maintained in their area. He added that water has been arranged for people waiting in the queue.

    Input from Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters

  • 15:51 (IST)

    A first-time voter in Tripura says she doesn't want to change the government as it may lead to loss of peace in her village​

    Input from Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters

  • 15:47 (IST)

    A first-time voter speaks to Firstpost about the polls 

    Input from ​Ayub Sarkar/101Reporters

  • 15:41 (IST)

    Voter turnout at 1 pm stands at 47 percent, reports Election Commission

  • 15:33 (IST)

    Replacing or rectifying the EVM-VVPAT to resume voting in polling stations: Additional CEO Tapas Roy 

    "The Election Commission has deployed specially modified EVMs attached with VVPATs in all the 3,174 polling stations across the state. We are replacing or rectifying the EVM-VVPAT and voting resumed in those polling stations after that," Additional Chief Electoral Officer Tapas Roy told IANS. He added that voting was peaceful and incident free. 

  • 15:06 (IST)

    In a series of tweets, CPM compares 'TripuraModel' with Modi's 'vikaas'

  • 14:52 (IST)

    EVM snag leads to slow polling across state

    An election department official said that snags in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) attached with VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) in over 150 polling stations, resulted in slow balloting across the state. "Around 35 to 40 per cent votes were cast so far and there are long queues in most of the polling stations both in plain and mountainous areas," the official told IANS.

  • 14:49 (IST)

    Tripura created history in 2008, 2013 polls

    In the 2013 and 2008 Assembly polls, Tripura scripted a record in the electoral history in India by casting 92 percent and 91 percent votes respectively, reports IANS.

  • 14:46 (IST)

    ITBP jawans guarding polling centres in Gomati and South Tripura

  • 14:45 (IST)

    Reang tribals who came to vote at Biswaram Chowdhury Para SB School in Raima Valley demand better drinking water, roads and electricity

    Input from Sushanta Das/101Reporters

  • 14:13 (IST)

    Traditional CPM voter says not many complaints against ruling party

    35-year old Agartala-based voter and traditional CPM voter says there aren't too many complaints against the government as such but it will be difficult for CPM to stay in power for too much longer. Even if the BJP doesn't do as well as they hope in these polls, there are more polls coming up soon like Lok Sabha, panchayat, municipality. The opposition and people in general are frustrated with the long incumbency. It's only natural because it's not possible to keep everyone happy for so many years. 

    Input from Armstrong Chanambam, 101Reporters

  • 14:04 (IST)

    Cases of EVMs, VVPATs malfunctioning in Tripura

    According to NDTV, several EVMs and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) systems have malfunctioned in some polling booths in Tripura. 

  • 14:01 (IST)

    RECAP: Congress does not make 'false promises' like BJP, urges people to vote for it, says Rahul Gandhi

    Rahul Gandhi on Friday appealed to the people of Tripura to vote for the Congress to bring good governance, saying unlike the BJP, his party does not make false promises. Alleging that neither the CPM nor the BJP pay attention to development, he said the Congress is the only party which can deliver on its poll promises and will form government at the centre in 2019, reported PTI.

  • 13:54 (IST)

    Confident of completing election process in stipulated period, says Tripura CEO

  • 13:41 (IST)

    Voter turnout: 1 pm update

    According to the state election department, the voter turnout till 1 pm is 45.86 percent. 

  • 13:30 (IST)

    BJP leader Ram Madhav urges Tripura voters to join 'Chalo Paltai' movement

  • 13:25 (IST)

    Safety and unemployment need immediate attention, says BJP supporter

    Moushmi Ghosh, 42-year-old BJP Mahila Morcha member from Sadar sub-division in West Tripura district, shares her expectations from next government. Safety and unemployment need immediate attention, she says.

    Input from Armstrong Chanambam, 101Reporters

  • 13:24 (IST)

    Voter turnout recorded at 27 percent till 12 PM

  • 13:22 (IST)

    Hope voters will help defeat BJP, Congress with huge margins: Moboshar Ali, CPM candidate from Kailashahar

    Speaking to firstpost, Moboshar Ali, CPM candidate from Kailashahar constituency, urged voters to maintain peace. "I appeal the voters to maintain peace and harmony and cast their vote so that the left can come to power once again.  We hope the voters would defeat the candidates of Congress and BJP with huge margin and make the Left candidate the winner here," 53-year-old Ali said after casting his vote.

    Input by Pintulal De, 101Reporters

  • 12:53 (IST)

    Ruling government working closely with EC to ensue Left's victory, claims BJP leader

    BJP candidate Nitish Dey told Firstpost, "Since 7 am, voters are waiting to cast their votes for a change and are waiting in queue in front of the polling centres. There are reports of a few anomalies in EVM machines and so few polling centres have started bit late in Kailashwar Constituency. This is the fault of the administration as they did not check the machines properly. I have also seen that some of the state employees are working closely with EC to favour the ruling party. We have taken up this matter with the administration. They are violating the code of conduct. I was canvassing till 4 pm on 16 Feb and I believe that BJP is going to win the seats."

    Input by Pintulal De, 101Reporters

  • 12:46 (IST)

    CPM cannot win by threatening voters; BJP will surely win polls, says BJP Tripura chief

    Tripura BJP president Biplab Kumar Deb spoke to Firstpost at Banamalipur Assembly constituency

    Input from Armstrong Chanambam, 101Reporters

  • 12:38 (IST)

    BJP, CPM leaders claim EVM malfunctioning

    BJP leader Sudip Roy Burman and ruling CPM leader Krishna Majumder, both candidates from the Agartala constituency, had earlier in the day claimed that voting in a few polling stations in the state capital were held up for more than 90 minutes because of EVM glitches. Additional CEO Tapas Roy refuted the claims and said all voting machines were working.

  • 12:35 (IST)

    Congress candidates accuses poll officials of misbehaviour

    “There has been disturbance (in poll booths). So we called up the DM and he sent some officers to the voting centre. Now it is going on peacefully. The officers at times misbehaves with the senior voters but for them only now it is systematic and peaceful,” Congress candidate Birajit Sinha said.

    Input by Pintulal De, 101Reporters

  • 12:21 (IST)

    RECAP: PM says 'Left believes in gun-tantra'

    The prime minister invoked the recent deaths of BJP workers, claiming that the Left government was resorting to bloodshed, sensing that its end is near. Modi claimed that the murders of 10 BJP workers and a journalist was carried out by the ruling party's supporters ahead of the polls.

    Speaking in Hindi, Modi used rhyming words to hit out at Manik Sarkar government and make his point: "Left parties do not believe in democracy (ganatantra) they believe in gun-tantra," Modi said. "They murdered our 10 BJP workers. They killed journalists," he alleged.

    Read the full report here.

  • 11:55 (IST)

    No reports of violence, says Tripura CEO

    Taranikanti said that there were no incidents of violence reported anywhere in the state and the polling was peaceful. 

    Input by Prabhu Mallikarjunan, 101Reporters

  • 11:53 (IST)

    180 engineers helping us resolve EVM malfunctioning, says Tripura CEO

    Responding to queries on EVM malfunctioning at several places on the polling day, Sriram Taranikanti, Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura said, “There were technical glitches and we have had difficulty in about 3% of the total voting machines across the State. We have rectified the same and polling is going smooth. A team of about 180 engineers are helping us address such technical problems.”

    Input from Prabhu Mallikarjun, 101 Reporters

  • 11:48 (IST)

    BJP candidate accuses CPM cadres of threatening voters

    Kalyani Roy, BJP candidate from Teliamura constituency in Khowai district, said CPM cadres were disrupting the poll process by provoking voters to vote for their candidate in her constituency. "There is 'cadre raj' going on here. They threatened me with life when I questioned them. I am filing an FIR at Teliamura police station right now," she said.

    Picture credit: Facebook (Input from Suneet Shukla, 101 Reporters)

  • 11:37 (IST)

    Voter turnout update

    At 11 am, the turnout stands at 23.25 percent. However, officials are still counting the numbers. The final figure can go up to 25 percent. 

    Source: Election Commission

  • 11:33 (IST)

    Earlier visuals of a polling booth in Agartala

  • 11:31 (IST)

    20 % voting all across Tripura till 10 am

    Input from Armstrong Chanambam, 101Reporters

  • 11:19 (IST)

    Voting yet to begin in some places

    Several stations in constituencies like Rajnagar, Amarpur, RK Pur, Matabari and Bagma haven't started polling due to "malfunctioning EVMs". 

    Input from Ayub Sarkar,101reporters

  • 11:17 (IST)

    EVM malfunctioning reports from Tripura

    15 EVMs have malfunctioned across the state so far. However, no major incident has been reported till now, reports CNN-News 18.

  • 11:13 (IST)

    Heir apparent of Tripura royal family Pradyot Kishore Manikya talks about Congress, elections and BJP's prospects

    In the backdrop of the hectic poll preparations, Pradyot Kishore Manikya, heir of the royal family in Tripura and the working president of the state Congress unit, spoke to Firstpost about elections, his relationship with the Congress leadership, and his vision for the state. The royal scion also cleared the air about his recent meetings with bigwigs from both BJP and the Congress, and explained why he is comfortable with the grand old party and does not see the BJP as a credible force in the state.

    Read full inteview here. 

Polling began amid tight security in 59 of the total 60 seats in Tripura on Sunday. Polling in the northeastern state has gained a lot of attention with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerging as the main challenger to the ruling Left Front, which has been in power in the state for the last 25 years.

The state has witnessed a high-voltage camping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing as many as four rallies in the state.

Though voting has remained brisk since morning, development is likely to be the deciding factor as voters choose representatives among the 307 candidates in the fray. According to ANI, several voters in Udaipur said on Sunday that they want a government which can provide them with economic development.

The Tripura BJP president  Biplab Kumar Deb voted in Udiapur, while Chief Minister Manik Sarkar voted at a poll booth in Agartala. As of 12 am, the state recorded a voter turnout of 45 percent.

Meanwhile, Modi has urged youngsters in Tripura to come out in large numbers and vote after voting begins in 59 out of the 60 seats in the CPM-bastion. On the other hand, BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted, 'One vote will lay foundation of prosperous Tripura' and urged people to vote in large numbers.

Reports of EVM malfunction has come from various parts of the state. Voting is yet to begin in some of the polling stations in the state. Speaking to Firstpost, Sriram Taranikanti, the CEO of Tripura said, "There were technical glitches and we have had difficulty in about 3 percent of the total voting machines across the State. We have rectified the same and polling is going smooth."

BJP state in-charge of Tripura Sunil Deodhar says he's confident there won't be any instances of booth capturing and reposes faith in the central forces deployed across the state. However, BJP candidates have been complaining of state authorities and CPM cadres threatening voters.

Polling in Charilam Assembly constituency had to be deferred due to the death of a CPM candidate Ramendra Narayan Deb Barma, five days ago. Voting in Charilam Assembly constituency will be held on 12 March. Twenty seats have been reserved for the scheduled tribes.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) is confident of retaining power in its bastion of Tripura in Sunday's assembly elections and achieving a turnaround in the Left movement across the country, though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is battling tooth and nail to oust the Left Front government.

 Tripura Assembly Election 2018 updates: 78.56% voter turnout at 9 pm, CEO to order inquiry into EVM malfunctions

File image of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI and AP

Apart from Modi, several heavyweight leaders of the saffron party took part in the campaign including national president Amit Shah, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Sarkar, who is running for his fifth term as the chief minister, led the CPM's campaign addressing around 50 rallies in the state. Other Left leaders like Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat lent support to the party's campaign.

In India's 65-year-long electoral history, the country's dominant Left party, CPM, has never been in direct confrontation with the BJP. However, political developments in Tripura in 2016 and 2017 have set the stage for their first face-to-face battle as the saffron outfit has emerged as the key opposition party in this Communist-ruled northeastern state.

The Congress' campaign was somewhat subdued with party president Rahul Gandhi addressing a rally at Kailashahar in Unakoti district, about 180 kms from Agartala, on the last day of campaigning.

Altogether, 307 candidates are in the fray.

The CPM is contesting in 57 seats and while the other Left Front constituents, the RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI, in one seat each.

The BJP, which has forged an alliance with tribal outfit Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) has fielded 51 candidates. IPFT will contest in the remaining nine seats.

The Congress is going it alone in Tripura this time and will contest in 59 seats. The party has not fielded any candidate for Kakrabon constituency in Gomati district.

After Tripura become a full-fledged state in January 1972 along with Meghalaya and Manipur, the CPM dominated Left Front was in power since 1978 except for 11 years (1972-1977 and 1988-1993) when the Congress and the breakaway Congress led by five chief ministers ran the state.

There are 25,73,413 electorates, of whom 13,05,375 are males and 12,68,027 women while the number of third gender voters is 11. There are 47,803 new voters this time.

Voting will be held between 7 am and 4 pm on Sunday at 3,214 polling stations of which 47 would be managed by women, election office sources said.

Tripura chief electoral officer Sriram Taranikanti said the Election Commission has appointed police observers, general observers and expenditure observers to ensure free and fair polls.

He said that the Director General of Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) RK Pachnanda has been appointed as a special observer to coordinate the security forces deployed in the state.

State Director General of Police Akhil Kumar Shukla said tight security measures are in place across Tripura for free and fair elections.

Three hundred companies of central armed forces have been deployed across the state along with state armed personnel and the police, he said, adding the BSF is keeping keep close vigil along the 856 km long Indo-Bangladesh border in the state.

Counting of votes will take place on 3 March, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Debashish Modok said.


With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 21:20:44 IST