Tripura parties hail announcement of assembly elections
Agartala : Both the ruling Left and opposition parties in Tripura on Thursday expressed happiness over the declaration of assembly polls in the state and all said they were confident of winning.
Earlier in the day, Chief Election Commissioner A.K. Joti in New Delhi announced that single-phase assembly polls will be held on February 18 in Tripura, and in Nagaland and Meghalaya on February 27.
Counting of votes for all the three states, which have 60-seat assemblies each, will be done on March 3.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front rules Tripura while it is the Congress in Meghalaya. The Nagaland People's Front-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland is in power in Nagaland. The Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) is also a partner of the DAN.
The CPI-M, BJP and Congress leaders in Tripura all expressed confidence that they will win next month's polls.
"The BJP has tried to create some obstacles in the announcement of elections. The party is also doing conspiracies against the Left Front government and the democratic forces, besides the people," CPI-M Central Committee member Gautam Das told the media.
He said: "The democratic forces of Tripura have spoiled the conspiracies of the BJP and the Election Commission announced the schedule of the elections.
"We robustly hope the elections would be held smoothly and the people of Tripura would repose faith once again on the Left Front as they did earlier," he said, adding that a three-day CPI-M Central Committee meeting will begin in Kolkata on Friday and after that the candidates would be announced.
BJP spokesman Mrinal Kanti Deb said the youth would largely help install the first BJP government in Tripura, voting out the Left.
Refuting the CPI-M's charges, Deb told IANS: "We are organisationally fully ready to face the elections. People are also ready to vote in favour of the BJP as they (people) are become fed-up with the misrule of the Left parties."
The Congress also criticised the BJP for "conspiring to defer the elections to get political mileage unethically by using the administrations of the BJP-led Central government".
"We urge the Elections Commission to conduct free, fair and fearless elections so that the people can cast their votes without any panic and difficulties," Tripura Pradesh Congress Vice President Tapas Dey told the media.
He said that soon after the announcement of the election schedule, the Congress held a meeting here on Thursday with booth-level members and leaders.
Meanwhile, a two-member Election Commission (EC) team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit.
"Immediately after the arrival of the EC team they left here for southern Tripura and held district-wise review meeting. The EC officials would hold more district-wise review meetings and a meeting with the top state official on Saturday here before leaving for Delhi," Additional Chief Electoral Officer Tapas Roy told IANS.
Earlier, the EC, led by Chief Election Commissioner A.K. Joti, had visited all the three northeastern states and reviewed the poll preparedness.
"The Election Commission also asked the state authorities to arrest the people against whom warrants are pending," a police officer said.
The political parties have been in campaign mode even before the announcement of the election schedule.