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Tripura: Bypolls underway, CM Manik Saha faces first-ever direct election

Agartala: Polling for bye-elections in Tripura is underway at four assembly segments--Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar.

The bypolls in Tripura are crucial for Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha who replaced Biplab Kumar Deb last month. The dentist-turned politician himself is a candidate and is fighting his first-ever direct election to save his CM seat.

Speaking to reporters, Manik Saha said polling is being held in a peaceful manner and stated that the Election Commission has taken all necessary measures to maintain law and order and to boost the confidence of the voters.

"Democracy is established everywhere. ECI is making all arrangements. I believe there is no ground of any allegations from anyone," the CM said.

Meanwhile, to thwart any possibility of violence or rigging during the polls, central paramilitary forces (CPF) have been deployed in several localities of Agartala to flush out outsiders.

The opposition parties earlier alleged that a large number of BJP cadres were brought from other parts of the state in Agartala to rig the elections to ensure the victory of chief minister Manik Saha in Bardowali.

The Chief Electoral Officer's office said that 33.18 per cent turnout was recorded till 11 am.

The bypolls were necessitated in these seats due to the resignations of the legislators in two seats, disqualification of an MLA in one, and the death of one of the MLAs midterm.

Saha was sworn in as the chief minister of Tripura on May 15. The BJP decided on leadership change in the state a year ahead of the Assembly elections by replacing Biplab Kumar Deb with Saha as the Chief Minister.

After Manik Saha was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tripura, the BJP has once again taken recourse to its old mantra to beat anti-incumbency by changing the face in a poll-bound state.

Tripura unit of the BJP leaders was surprised with the choice of Manik Saha as chief minister as he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the lone seat barely two months ago. Saha was a Rajya Sabha MP and chief of the party in the state.

The polls in the state are likely to be held in March next year. Saha joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Congress.

He was made party chief in 2020 and elected to Rajya Sabha in March this year.

The counting of votes will be done on June 26. (ANI)

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