New Delhi: Tripura witnessed a massive turnout of voters on Thursday, as above 90 percent of voting was recorded at the end of the polling for the 60 seats of the state assembly.
Briefing a press conference in New Delhi, Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Alok Shukla said that except some minor incidents, the whole voting process went in a peaceful manner.
"87 percent polling has been recorded till 4 p.m., but a large number of voters were seen still in queues, so it is certainly going to be above 90 percent at the end of the day. The officers have informed us that the voting process may last till seven in the evening," said Shukla.
Terming it a record polling for any state assembly elections in the country, Shukla expressed hope that the polls voting may break the previous highest in the state.
In the last assembly election in 2008, 92.6 percent polling was recorded.
An estimated 40 percent of voting was recorded till noon.
Voting was stopped at some polling booths in West Tripura and South Tripura districts following some technical problems in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). However new EVMs were installed and voting resumed thereafter.
An electorate of 23,52,505, including 11,64,656 women, are exercising their franchise in the election being contested by 249 candidates belonging to 16 political parties besides independents.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar cast his vote in the morning at a booth in Umakanta School in Ramnagar constituency and said the Left Front is going to get more seats with more percentage of votes in the elections.
The Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) is contesting 55 seats, while other two partners of the Left Front, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) are contesting two seats each.
The main opposition in the state, the Congress is contesting 48 seats and its alliance partners, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) in 11 and National Conference of Tripura in one.
Around 50,000 personnel have been deployed to ensure free and fair polling.
The Election Commission has formed flying squads and Static Surveillance Teams to combat the menace of cash doles and bribes and carrying of illegal arms.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has completely sealed the 856 km-long border with Bangladesh and deployed additional forces to prevent infiltration.