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TMC, CPI(M) allege rigging in Tripura civic polls

Agartala: Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporters protest in fornt of the West Agartala Police Station during the municipal corporation elections, in Agartala, November 25, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Sporadic incidents marred Tripura’s municipal elections for 13 urban local bodies held on Thursday. The opposition CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) alleged widespread rigging, attacks and intimidations, and both parties lodged several complaints with the State Election Commission (SEC) and the police.

Sources in the SEC reported 80% turnout adding the figure may vary after final evaluation.

Also Read: SC directs Home Ministry to send CAPF forces to Tripura for civic body polls

Two TMC candidates Shymal Paul and Tapan Kumar Biswas contesting in the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) sustained injuries in attacks by hooligans. In another attack, the son of a candidate was injured outside a polling station.

TMC leaders alleged large-scale rigging in numerous polling stations in AMC and other civic bodies.

CPI(M) state Secretary Jitendra Choudhury echoed the complaint and added that Left Front polling agents were forcibly expelled from 36 booths. The CPI(M) demanded re-polling in five municipal bodies and said it would move a petition in the Supreme Court to seek its ‘intervention to restore democracy’ in the State.

Hundreds of CPI(M) supporters staged a protest outside the West Agartala Police Station to demand the arrest of miscreants who were preventing polling agents and voters from reaching polling booths.

TMC leaders and supporters held similar protests at the East Agartala Police Station, after which they were taken into custody and later released.

BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee denied the party’s involvement in ‘unethical and undemocratic activities’ and said the complaints of the CPI(M) and TMC were designed to cover-up their imminent defeat in the election.

Police said they had made some arrests after receiving specific complaints. IG (Law & Order) Arindam Nath informed that paramilitary forces including BSF were deployed in 32 polling stations in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court.

He informed that two more companies of CRPF will arrive here on Friday morning for deployment ahead of counting of votes which would be taken up on Sunday. The central forces will stay deployed till November 30.

Elections on Thursday were held in AMC and 12 urban bodies (total 222 wards) of Tripura. BJP earlier won seven municipal bodies uncontested.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 2:09:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/tmc-cpim-allege-rigging-in-tripura-civic-polls/article37686680.ece

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