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All booths of Tripura bypolls to be brought under CCTV coverage: CEO tells parties

In the meeting with the political parties on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Gitte assured all necessary arrangements to ensure free and fair polling in 6 constituencies

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Agartala: The election commission has assured that all the polling booths of upcoming by-elections to four assembly constituencies slated on June 23 next would be brought under CCTV coverage and commission will arrange webcasting of the activities at least in 50 per cent of booths.

In the meeting with the political parties on Friday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Gitte assured all necessary arrangements to ensure free and fair polling in 6 –Agartala, 8-Bardowali, 46 –Surma (SC) and 57 –Jubarajnagar constituencies, which were left vacant due to resignation of two BJP MLAs, disqualification a BJP MLA and sudden death of a CPI-M MLA.

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He said that adequate numbers of Central Armed Paramilitary Force (CAPF) jawans will be deployed along with the state police in all the polling booths and the commission has decided to erect three-tier security to pluck all the lapses and to hold a peaceful and fair election.

The CEO urged the political parties to cooperate with the election commission and to help to demonstrate a model election before the country. Analyzing the past records of elections, the commission will undertake the security deployment strategies and plan for the constituencies. 

However, the election commission will provide all facilities and put adequate apparatus in place to ensure fair polling, Gitte stated.

Tripura earned a bad name in last year’s urban local bodies’ election for resorting to massive violence, booth capturing, preventing the opposition from putting its candidates and proxy voting allegedly by ruling BJP cadres for which the Supreme Court had to issue direction to the state administration but failed to ensure fair elections.

Earlier, in the last general elections followed by panchayat elections in 2019, the ruling party was accused of perpetrating massive violence, not allowing opposition parties to field their candidates in 98 per cent seats of the three-tier panchayat and preventing voters from exercising their franchise, the opposition CPI-M alleged in the meeting.

However, Congress alleged, recently, former health minister of BJP government who joined Congress Sudip Roy Barman was attacked allegedly by BJP goons led by a Councilor of Agartala Municipal Corporation Abhishek Datta, the nephew of ruling party MLA Surajit Datta and two other BJP leaders 

in an advocate’s house where Roy Barman’s PSO and driver was injured badly.

“Despite specific complaints none of the three accused BJP leaders were arrested yet. They are openly roaming around with the former Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and attending party programmes but police evade their arrest. Moreover, BJP goons on motorbikes have already started atrocities in the poll bound areas threatening voters to cast in their favour. We want action against the criminals who have pending cases,” Congress president Birajit Sinha said.

While assuring free and fair by-poll, CEO Gitte said that notification for the by-elections would be issued on May 30 and filing of nominations would be completed by June 6 and scrutiny of nominations would take place on June 7. The last date for withdrawal of candidatures would be June 9 and the election process would be completed before June 28next.

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