Agartala, April 21, 2019
The Election Commission (EC) has made unprecedented security arrangements, including the deployment of over 9,300 troopers, for the deferred voting to the Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency on April 23rd, 2019, officials said here on April 21st, 2019.
“Over 5,300 central para-military forces and 4,000 Tripura State Rifles (TSR) troopers are being deployed to conduct free, fair and smooth voting in the Tripura East seat,” a senior police official said as IANS quoted.
The central forces included the Border Security Force (BSF), the Assam Rifles, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The TSR is a counter-insurgency force.
“The central forces would be deployed at most of the 1,645 polling booths in 1,349 locations, spread across six districts, for the April 23 vote,” Vikas Singh, Returning Officer to the parliamentary constituency said.
In an unprecedented move, the EC has appointed three central police observers and a special central police observer to oversee deployment of security forces during the vote in the constituency.
Citing “non-conducive security situation”, following reports by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti, Special Central Police Observer Mrinal Kanti Das (former Manipur DGP), the Returning Officer and other intelligence inputs, the poll panel early last week had deferred voting to the seat from April 18th to April 23rd, 2019,
The CEO said all polling agents, candidates and, if necessary, 1,257,944 voters that include 620,291 women, would be provided security to facilitate free and fair polling.
Tripura has two Lok Sabha constituencies. Polling in the Tripura West seat was held on April 11th, 2019.
There are 10 contestants, including two women, in the Tripura East seat. But three main contenders are Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) sitting MP Jitendra Choudhury, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rebati Tripura and Maharaj Kumari Pragya Deb Barman (Congress), elder sister of state Congress chief Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman.
Since 1952, the Left parties have won the East Tripura seat 12 times and the Congress four times.