Agartala, Feb 27 (IANS) Both the ruling CPI-M led Left Front as well as the Congress-led opposition alliance were optimistic of forming the next government in Tripura as election officials prepared for counting of votes Thursday.
"As per the Election Commission directives, a three-tier security has been put in place around the vote counting centres," said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashutosh Jindal.
According to him, the paramilitary forces would be posted inside the counting centres while the state's armed and other security forces would guard the outer zone.
"Several teams of experts from the Electronic Corporation of India will be ready at each counting centre to rectify snags in the electronic voting machines," the official told reporters.
The Feb 14 voting decided the fate of 249 candidates, including 15 women and many Independents, in 60 constituencies of the state assembly.
Over 2,500 officials, including counting supervisors and counting assistants, have been deployed for counting ballots in 60 halls at 17 venues, an official said.
Orders prohibiting any gathering of five or more people have been imposed within 200 metres of each counting centre equipped with CCTV cameras.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Bijan Dhar said: "We will win in more seats this time as compared to the last assembly elections and our vote share would increase substantially."
"We are happy with the record 93.57 percent of the 2,355,446 electorate casting their vote. In the 2008 and 2003 elections, the heavy turnout went in favour of the Left Front," he said.
State Congress chief Sudip Roy Barman said: "The Congress-Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura-Nationalist Conference of Tripura alliance will form the next government."
In 2008, the Left Front registered a thumping victory. The CPI-M alone won 46 seats and partners Communist Party of India and Revolutionary Socialist Party secured respectively one and two seats. The Congress bagged 10 seats and the INPT one.