Tripura bypolls | Cop stabbed, 33.18% turnout till 11 am

Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is not a member of the Assembly, is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency against Congress nominee Asish Saha.

Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is not a member of the Assembly, is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency against Congress nominee Asish Saha.

Around 33.18% t of 1.89 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 11.00 am in by-polls to four assembly constituencies in Tripura on Thursday, election officials said.

Polling to the Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar seats is underway in 221 booths since 7.00 am, and it will continue till 5.00 pm.

An off-duty police constable, identified as Samir Saha, was stabbed in the stomach with a sharp object while he was going with his family to exercise their franchise in Kunjaban area in Agartala constituency, a police officer said, adding the miscreants attempted to prevent Samir Saha and his family members from casting their votes.

Samir Saha, who is attached to Gandacherra Police Station in Dhalai district, has been admitted to a hospital and his condition is stated to be stable, he said.

On Wednesday night, unidentified people attacked the residence of TMC candidate for Surma assembly seat, Arjun Namasudra, in Bamancherra in Dhalai district.

“The candidate is unhurt but his vehicle was vandalized by miscreants,” Dhalai Superintendent of Police Ramesh Yadav told PTI.

TMC state president Subal Bhowmik alleged that BJP-backed goons had attacked Namasudra’s house and also tried to beat up a polling agent.

Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency, rubbished the TMC’s allegations as baseless.

“They have been making one accusation after another. Democracy has been strengthened in Tripura with the administration and ECI discharging their duties properly, ”he said.

Mr. Saha also exuded “100% confidence” that the BJP will sweep all the four seats.

“I am 100% sure that BJP will win all the four seats based on the good work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and my predecessor Biplab Kumar Deb for the welfare of the people,” he told reporters after casting his vote.

A total of 25 companies of central forces, apart from Tripura State Rifles (TSR), have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.

As many as 1,89,032 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the electoral fate of 25 candidates in the fray.

The by-elections in Agartala and Town Bardowali constituencies were necessitated after Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha quit as BJP MLAs and joined the Congress in February.

Surma seat in Dhalai district fell vacant after BJP legislator, Asish Das, was disqualified by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty and by-poll to Jubarajnagar was necessitated following the death of sitting CPI (M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath.

The Chief Minister, who is not a member of the Assembly, is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency against Congress nominee Asish Saha.

Trinamool Congress and Left Front have fielded candidates in all the four seats. The votes will be counted on June 26.

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