The three-tier panchayat elections in Tripura will be held in only 15 per cent of the total seats on Saturday as 85 per cent seats have already been won by the ruling BJP unopposed.
While the Congress and the CPI(M) have accused BJP-backed goons of preventing opposition candidates from filing nominations, the saffron party has said the opposition parties failed to find nominees.
“Elections will be held in 833 gram panchayat seats, 82 panchayat Samiti seats and 79 Zilla Parishad seats,” SEC Secretary Prasenjjit Bhattacharya told PTI on Friday.
There are a total of 6,111 gram panchayat seats, 419 panchayat Samiti seats and 116 Zilla Parishad seats in Tripura.
The SEC official said the BJP has won 5,652 seats of the total 6,646 gram panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad seats unopposed.
Ballot papers will be used in the polling which will be held between 7 am and 4 pm.
Votes will be counted on July 31.
Tight security arrangements are in place and 1172 of 1848 polling booths have been identified as sensitive, a senior police officer said.
Over 6,000 Tripura State Rifles (TSR) personnel and 17 companies of BSF and CRPF would be deployed, Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Arindam Nath said.
The DIG said that 18 cases of poll violence have been registered in the state so far.
While CPI(M), in a statement, said 121 of their candidates were forced to withdraw their nomination papers, state Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said 124 of their nominees were compelled to take back their nominations.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya denied the charges saying said candidates of the opposition parties did not file nomination as they have ‘lost their support base’.