One constituency in Tripura and five in Assam go to polls today , marking start of the nine-phase elections to the Lok Sabha
New Delhi: The country’s general election, to elect 543 members to the 16th Lok Sabha, or the House of People in the bicameral parliament, kicks off today, with balloting starting from two states in the northeast — Assam and Tripura.
One constituency in Tripura (Tripura West) and five constituencies in Assam — Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibarugarh and Lakhimpur — will go to polls today, marking the start of the nine-phase staggered elections to the Lok Sabha.
Vigilant: A security personal keeps vigil from of a strong room from where EVMs are being distributed, on the eve of the first phase of the elections in Lakhimpur district of Assam. Pic/EPA
The balloting for the remaining seats will be held April 12 (three in Assam and one in Tripura) and April 24 (six in Assam).
The Congress rules in Assam, while Tripura has the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)) led Left Front in power.
Police and paramilitary forces have stepped up security, more so because April 7 coincides with the Raising Day of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Unlike in the past, neither factions of the ULFA, pro nor anti-talks, have issued diktats to the voters for boycott of the elections or made any statement against any party.
On a Mission: Paramilitary officials carry EVMs from Dibrugarh to the most sensitive zone of Laika Dodhiya in Tinsukia district of Assam yesterday. Pic/PTI
Among the 51 candidates are union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora for the Congress.
Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba is also contesting. The six are among 543 constituencies where polling will take place from April 7 to May 12. The ballot count will be held on May 16.
Agartala: Six of the 25 candidates vying for Tripura’s two Lok Sabha seats are ‘crorepatis’ according to the affidavits filed along with their nomination papers. “Six candidates (24 per cent) are crorepatis,” Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Tripura Election Watch (TEW) said in a report.
The report said two Congress candidates, one each of the CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and the Aam Aadmi Party, and two Independents have declared assets ranging between Rs1 crore to Rs 4 crore.
The two poorest candidates belong to the local parties. Among them, Falguni Debbarma, candidate of the CPI (M-Liberation) in East Tripura constituency, has net worth of Rs 3,500, while Subarnamala Debbarma, candidate of Amra Bangali Party in the same constituency, has shown net worth of Rs 7,485. Patal Kanya Jamatya, an Independent in East Tripura constituency, has declared net worth of Rs 30,000.
Estimated number of eligible voters in Assam
Estimated number of eligible voters in Tripura
Number of polling stations in Assam
Number of centres in Tripura