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EC issues notification for Feb 16 polls to 60-member Tripura Legislative Assembly

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Agartala, Jan 21: The Election Commission has issued the statutory notification for the February 16 elections to the 60-member Tripura Assembly, inviting the candidates to submit their nomination papers from Saturday.

Election officials said with the issuance of the notification candidates can submit their nomination papers to the Returning Officers across the state from Saturday.

According to the notification, the last date for filing of nomination papers in Tripura is January 30 and the scrutiny of papers and relevant documents would be done the next day, and the last date of withdrawal of candidatures is February 2. The election date is February 16 and counting of votes would be on March 2.

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Officials said for the convenience of the candidates and the political parties, unlike the previous elections, the poll panel has appointed 60 Returning Officers (ROs) and 180 Assistant Returning Officers (AROs).

In the previous assembly polls in Tripura, one returning officer was appointed for two or three assembly constituencies.

Even though the official process of filing of nomination has begun, no political party has yet announced their candidates even though the selection process has been going on both in Agartala and New Delhi.

However, some candidates of different political parties including Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha, who would be the ruling BJP’s Chief Ministerial face, has already started door-to-door campaigns in his Bordowali assembly constituency in Agartala.

Election officials said that it is proposed to work in mission mode to conduct upcoming Assembly elections in the state with an aim of “Zero Poll Violence”.

To hold the election violence free, a series of administrative and awareness steps were taken.

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The steps, which would continue until the poll process is over, include sensitisation workshops to be held in all 60 Assembly constituencies involving political parties, workers and eminent citizens highlighting the negative effects of violence on the persons, families, society and overall image of the state.

Following the request of the state authorities, the Union Home Ministry has agreed to provide 400 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) comprising of Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, and Central Industrial Security Force.

Majority of the CAPF have already been deployed in different parts of Tripura.

“The flag marches by the CAPF have already started since last week to ensure confidence building among the political workers for campaigning and among the citizens to cast their votes freely without any fear. The security forces are deployed well before the poll process so that they get familiar with the locality. Local police should extend necessary cooperation to the CAPF,” a statement by Election Commission said.

It said the state police shall ensure all miscreants, trouble mongers and history sheeters are either kept in constant watch or bound under relevant sections of the CrPC.

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