Tripura State Assembly Elections 2018: Voting Ends For 59 Out Of 60 Seats

| February 18 , 2018 , 16:27 IST

Voting has ended for the Tripura state assembly elections 2018 for 59 out of the 60 seats, with polling for the final seat to take place on March 12, after the death of CPM candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma resulted in the postponement of polling in the Charilam constituency.

A total of 297 candidates are contesting the Tripura polls, an increase from the 249 candidates in the 2013 polls. While the Left front and BJP-led alliance are contesting all the seats of the state, Congress is contesting all except one seat.

The polling is taking place across 3,214 polling stations, out of which 49 are being managed by women only. In Tripura, there are around 26 lakh voters, out of which half of them are women, and 11 are third gender voters. As compared to the last elections, there are 47,803 new voters now. The results of the elections are to be declared on March 3.

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Tripura has been ruled by the Left since 1978, except for 5 years (1988-1993) when Congress was in power. 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.

However, the BJP has been criticised by the Left for tying up with the IPFT that wants a separate state of Tipraland to be carved out of Tripura for tribal-dominated areas, despite BJP saying that it is against the bifurcation of the state.  

The face of the Left campaign, current Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi conducted campaigning in Tripura ahead of the elections.

In the last state assembly polls in Tripura, a 91.82 percent voter turnout was recorded.