Voting for the 60-member Assembly in Tripura began at 7 am on Thursday amid tight security, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinakarrao.
Altogether 28.13 voters are scheduled to exercise their franchise during the day in 3,337 polling stations of the northeastern state to determine the fate of 259 candidates, he said.
No untoward incident or EVM technical snag was reported from any part of the state during the first 30 minutes, he said.
Of the 3,337 polling stations, 1,100 booths have been identified as sensitive and 28 as critical.
As many as 97 booths are being managed by women polling personnel.
The international and inter-state boundaries have been sealed to keep trouble-makers at bay during the voting process, Dinakarrao said.
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As part of precautionary measures, prohibitory orders have been imposed across the state till 6 am on February 17, the CEO stated.
"As many as 31,000 polling personnel and 25,000 security personnel of central forces will be on guard to ensure the election is conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner. Besides, 31,000 officials of the state armed police and the state police will be deployed at various places to maintain law and order," he explained.
Urging electors to come out and exercise their democratic rights, the CEO said necessary steps have been made for their safety.
"Special initiatives have been taken for physically handicapped and elderly voters so that they don't face any inconvenience at the booths," he said.
The northeastern state is set to witness a triangular fight this time, with the BJP-IPFT coalition seeking to retain supremacy, the Left-Congress combine looking to wrest power, and regional outfit Tipra Motha making its debut at the hustings after its stunning performance in the autonomous council polls.
The BJP is contesting 55 assembly seats, and its ally IPFT has fielded candidates in six constituencies. The two parties will be having a friendly fight in one seat.
The Left Front is contesting 47 seats and the Congress 13 constituencies.
The TMC has fielded nominees in 28 constituencies.
Apart from that, there are 58 Independent aspirants in the fray.
Votes will be counted on March 2.
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