‘Adequate security measures to be in place for free and fair bypolls in Tripura’: Chief electoral officer

Adequate security arrangements will be made to ensure free and fair bypolls in four Assembly segments in Tripura, chief electoral officer Kiran Dinkarrao Gitte said on Thursday.

As per Gitte̵7;s office, 1,88,854 voters–93,567 male and 95,283 female–will cast their votes at 221 polling stations on June 23.
The bypolls, along with those in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Delhi, were announced by the Election Commission on Wednesday.

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In Tripura, the Assembly bypolls will be held in the Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and the Jubarajnagar constituencies. The bypolls were necessitated in the first two segments after local BJP MLAs, including former minister Sudip Roy Barman, resigned and joined the Opposition Congress earlier this year. The BJP MLA from Surma, Ashish Das, was disqualified after he joined the Trinamool Congress and former Assembly speaker and CPM leader RC Debnath, who had won from Jubarajnagar, died while in office.

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Briefing reporters about the bypoll schedule, the chief electoral officer said a gazette notification would be issued on May 30, and candidates could submit their nomination papers till June 6. The submitted papers would be scrutinised on the next day and the final candidate list would be out on June 9. Votes would be counted on June 26.

“The election code of conduct will be in force in the entirety of Dhalai and North Tripura districts and the Assembly segment areas in Agartala city where bypolls will be held. No major announcement, political tours, transfer and posting or such things will be allowed in these areas during the election period,” the top official said.

Gitte also said the bypolls would be conducted on the basis of the voters list revised on January 1.

The district magistrates and police superintendents would be reviewing the security situation in the areas and categorise the booths as normal, critical, vulnerable, vulnerable and critical etc.

“Adequate security personnel would be deployed, CCTV coverage would be ensured in all polling stations and webcasting would be done at 50 per cent of the polling stations,” the official added.