Today, The northeastern state of Tripura is witness multi-cornered by-elections for four Assembly seats . These bypolls assume much significance as they are happening days after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) changed the chief minister of the state and at a time when the Assembly elections are barely eight months away. They will test the saffron party’s organisational strength and its ability to minimise the damage of rising anti-incumbency. In all, 1,89,032 voters are set to exercise their franchise in the four assembly segments – Agartala constituency (51,739 voters), Town Bardowali (46,622 voters), Surma (47,300) and Jubarajnagar (43,371).In the wake of torrential rains in the past few weeks in Tripura, the Election Commission has arranged waiting rooms and waiting sheds at all polling stations to accommodate 100-150 voters standing in queue.
Out of the 221 polling stations, where polling issuing, 148 were categorised ‘normal’ as per security assessment, four were marked ‘critical’, 59 ‘vulnerable’ and 10 were marked ‘critical and vulnerable’ based on the previous history of violence, voter turnout, local threat perceptions etc. CEO Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte earlier said that 25 companies of central armed police forces were deployed to maintain law and order during poll hours and assured “blanket security” is being arranged to ensure free and fair by-polls in these seats and said there is no question of voters being felt threatened.