Tripura recorded a voter turnout of 14 per cent till 9 am on Thursday, with the polling process largely being peaceful in the first two hours, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gitte Kirankumar Dinakarrao.
The exercise began at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm.
The CEO also noted that "enthusiasm was palpable among the voters", especially women.
"This indicates polls are being held in a free and fair manner," he said.
Among the early voters was Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is contesting the polls from Town Bardowali constituency.
He exuded confidence that the BJP will secure absolute majority in the Assembly elections.
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"I am hundred per cent confident that the BJP will secure absolute majority in the elections. The party may get more seats than it did the last time, he told reporters on his way to a polling booth at Maharani Tulsibati Girls' School here.
Altogether 28.13 lakh 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.
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 the women polling personnel. The international and inter-state boundaries have been sealed to keep trouble-makers at bay during the voting process, he said.
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.
Dinakarrao also said that an air ambulance has been stationed at Agartala Airport for emergencies.
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 old voters so that they don't face any inconvenience at the booths," he said.
The northeastern state is witnessing 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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