Agartala, February 19 (IANS): Over 92 per cent of Tripura’s 2,536,589 voters cast their votes in Sunday’s peaceful elections in 59 of the 60 Assembly seats, setting a new record in the electoral history of India, an official said here on Monday.
In the 2013 and 2008 Assembly polls, Tripura registered 92 per cent and 91 per cent voting respectively.
“The final vote tally is around 90 per cent (89.8) but taking into account the postal ballots, the total percentage is a little over 92 per cent,” an Election Department official said.
He said around 50,000 polling and security personnel on election duty cast their votes through postal ballot.
The official said a huge number of voters were still queued up at 10 p.m. on Sunday at around 100 of the 3,174 polling stations set up across the state.
“At the Malay Sardar Para polling station in Kalyanpur constituency in western Tripura’s Khowai district, people cast their ballots till 12.45 a.m.,” the official added.
He said had scores of VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails) and EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) not faced technical hitches, the polling percentage would have been more.
Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti late Sunday night said that 191 (6 per cent) VVPATs and 89 (5 per cent) EVMs malfunctioned across the state.
Ruling Left Front convenor Bijan Dhar said EVMs faced technical glitches in around 520 polling stations and demanded a probe.
“The Election Commission put up specially modified EVMs attached with VVPATs at all 3,174 polling stations. We replaced or rectified faulty EVMs-VVPATs and voting resumed in those polling stations afterwards,” the Election Department official added.
A total of 292 candidates, including 23 women and many independents, are in the fray. Counting of votes will take place on March 3.
Balloting was held in 59 of the 60 Assembly constituencies. Polling was deferred to March 12 in Charilam (Reserved-Tribal) seat due to the death of sitting MLA and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma.