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Over 80 % turnout in Tripura ADC polls
Agartala, May 3 (IANS):
Published on 4 May. 2010 12:58 AM IST
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Voting ended peacefully Monday with more than 80 percent turnout to elect a new Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) in Left Front-ruled Tripura, officials said.
“Braving soaring temperature and security threats, over 80 percent of the 619,697 voters cast their ballot across the state,” Gobinda Chandra Bhattacharjee, secretary of the state election commission, told IANS.
He said voting passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state.
Voters, mostly tribals, queued up in large numbers even before polling booths opened at 7 a.m. The state government had declared a holiday Monday to enable the voters to exercise their franchise. The votes will be counted Friday. The poll will decide the electoral fate of 162 candidates, including 10 women.
Amid heavy security and a possible threat from terrorists, polling was held for the 30-seat (28 elective and two nominated) TTAADC, which facilitates the socio-economic development of the tribals, who constitute one third of Tripura’s 3.5 million population.
Balloting in one seat was postponed after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate died after being bitten by a dog.
The council, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the state’s geographical area, was constituted in 1985 after amending the Sixth Schedule of the Indian constitution.
Authorities sealed the 856-km-long India-Bangladesh border with Tripura and deployed over 15,000 paramilitary and state security forces across the state, Director General of Police Pranay Sahaya said.
Night curfew has been clamped in some areas while over 3,000 people have been detained as precaution, he said.
The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front, the Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal based party, are the dominant players.
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress also put up candidates for 22 and 13 seats, respectively, while 43 independents were in the fray. For the first time, photo identity cards were made compulsory for voters.
The TTAADC, one of the 16 tribal autonomous bodies of northeast India, is currently controlled by the Left parties.

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