Agartala (Tripura) [India], November 25 (ANI): As Tripura civic body elections concluded, Agartala witnessed a heated atmosphere with opposition parties like the Left and the Trinamool Congress coming out in protests.
The Election Commission of India informed today that 81.52 per cent voting turnout at Tripura civic polls till 9.30 pm was reported.
The opposition parties have raised serious allegations against the ruling BJP government and accused it of open intimidation and attacks on candidates and polling agents.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, however, refuted the charges and said that the opposition was trying to obtain public sympathy fearing defeat.
BJP's rebel MLA Sudip Roy Barman also came in support of the opposition parties and said, "such kind of activities were earning bad name for the party. According to police, the situation is under control and an extensive security net has been extended across the city to avert any unwanted incident."Speaking to the ANI, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sadar Ramesh Yadav said, "the whole election process is running peacefully and the media is keeping its close watch on the procedures. Nothing is there. People are exercising their franchise. One of the Trinamool Congress leaders said that enough security has been given to his booth. Now a separate delegation sat on a Dharna in front of the East Agartala Police Station. We are not going to tolerate this and if section 144 is violated strict action is going to be taken against them."Yadav also said that the CPI(M) had also staged a Dharna in front of the West Agartala Police Station and the police took note of the party's grievances.
"The CPI(M) people told us about their problem although the incidents were not reported under my jurisdiction, we noted down their grievances and communicated to the police of that subdivision," he said.
Yadav was speaking on the sidelines of a Dharna staged by Trinamool Congress supporters led by party leader Subal Bhowmik in front of the East Agartala Police station.
The SDPO and the officer in charge of the police station tried to convince them to lift the Dharna but failed. Resultantly, all the 30 to 40 leaders were arrested. On the other hand, the Left has also held a Dharna in front of the West Agartala police station.
The Left leaders holding red flags, indulged in sloganeering, besieging the police station.
Speaking to ANI, Pabitra Kar, a senior leader of the CPI(M) said, "our polling agents, candidates have been forcefully ousted from polling booths by BJP hoodlums. We demand fresh elections where polling agents of no political party will be allowed and only the poll staff are going to conduct the polls. I dare the Biplab Deb government to order such an election."Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma who also exercised his voting right today rejected the allegations of opposition parties and said that small incidents are reported in all states. "Some of the reports are exaggerated and the party that has come to fight the elections here is trying to stir a hornet's nest. They don't have an organization which is prompting them to stir up a storm which is not going to be accepted here," said Verma.
On being asked about the SC's interventions, he said, "this is for the first time people of West Bengal and Assam have arrived here to create trouble and mischief in Tripura."Meanwhile, ruling BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman has expressed his anguish over the conduct of polls and claimed that booths were being jammed and people from outside areas were being brought to the poll-bound urban local bodies. According to him, these actions from a section of over-enthusiastic people are earning bad names for the party and the government as well.
Reacting to this, the Deputy Chief Minister said, everyone is free to make suggestions and these may be his suggestions.
The total number of eligible candidates for the polls stand at 4,93,041 and with 2,43,249 male and 2,49,778 female voters in 14 Urban Local Bodies where contests are taking place out of 20 total such bodies. (ANI)