Vote count begins in Tripura

Agartala, March 3: Counting of votes for the Tripura assembly for which polls were held on February 18, began on Saturday. Counting is being held in 59 seats of the 60-strong assembly, as the CPI-M candidate for Charilam (Scheduled Tribe reserve) seat Ramendra Narayan Debbarma died a week before the polls. The countermanded polls to the constituency will be held on March 12 Additional Chief Electoral Officer Tapas Roy told IANS that under a three-tier heavy security cover counting of votes started in 59 counting halls, set up in 20 locations across Tripura. "Huge numbers of central para-military force and state security force have been deployed to foil any attempt to foment disturbances during the counting process," Roy added. He said metal detectors and six CCTVs in each counting hall were installed, while videography is being done to record the entire counting process.  First the postal ballots are being counted and then the votes of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) will be taken into consideration. Prohibitory orders under 144 CrPc have been promulgated in and around all 20 counting places as precautionary measures. The Election Commission has appointed 47 general observers and eight police observers to oversee the counting process. A total of 290 candidates, including 23 women comprising the nominees of ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress and many independents, are trying their electoral fortune in the high pitched elections.