Agartala: Counting of votes polled in the 60 assembly seats in Tripura on February 16 began at 8 am on Thursday amid tight security arrangements, a senior election official said.
A triangular contest is being witnessed between the alliances of BJP-IPFT, and Left Front-Congress, and Tipra Motha, a new outfit floated by former royal scion Pradyot Manikya Debbarma.
A total of 25,000 security personnel have been deployed in Tripura to maintain law and order.
“Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped across the state from 6 pm on March 1 to 6 am on March 3 to prevent any untoward incident, but essential services and examinees have been kept out of its purview,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinakarrao said.
A total of 89.98 per cent of 28.12 lakh voters exercised their franchise during polling on February 16.
“Counting of votes is taking place at 21 locations. There will be around five to eight rounds of counting. The trends are expected to be clear around noon,” he said.
Security personnel conducted flag marches in different areas of Agartala as a confidence-building measure.
As many as 259 candidates of different political parties are in the fray.
Chief Minister Manik Saha is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency, while Union minister Pratima Bhowmik is fighting from Dhanpur constituency in Sepahijala district. CPI(M) state secretary Jitendra Chaudhury is contesting from Sabroom seat.
For the first time, the Left Front is contesting assembly elections with its erstwhile arch rival Congress.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the BJP won 36 seats, while its ally IPFT bagged 18 constituencies. The CPI(M)-led Left Front emerged victorious in 16 seats, while the Congress drew a blank.