Tripura panchayat polls: Parties, election officials launch preparations

Agartala, July 11 (IANS) With the issuance of the notification on Thursday, the process for the elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats in Tripura has started with all parties busy selecting thousands of candidates and formulating strategies.
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Tripura panchayat polls: Parties, election officials launch preparations

Agartala, July 11 (IANS) With the issuance of the notification on Thursday, the process for the elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats in Tripura has started with all parties busy selecting thousands of candidates and formulating strategies.

Elections to the three-tier Gram Panchayats in Tripura will be held on August 8 and the votes will be counted on August 12.

State Election Commissioner Saradindu Chaudhuri, who announced the election schedule here on Wednesday, said that the formal statutory notification was issued on Thursday with the last date for filing nominations being July 18 and the scrutiny the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidatures is July 22.

Senior Congress leader Birajit Sinha said that like last year’s Assembly polls, his party would forge an electoral alliance with the CPI-M-led Left parties to defeat the ruling BJP in the maximum number of seats.

Meanwhile, state Congress President Asish Kumar Saha and Congress Working Committee member and MLA Sudip Roy Barman on Thursday alleged that ruling BJP “goons” have been targeting their candidates and Congress supporters since the Panchayat poll date was announced on Wednesday. They claimed that tensions are rising ahead of the Panchayat elections as the ruling BJP, having failed to deliver its many promises to the people, lacks a substantial voter base and is resorting to violence to instil fear and manipulate the rural poll outcome.

However, the Congress leaders vowed that the party would undertake all out efforts to prevent these unfair tactics and ensure their candidates can contest the election fairly.

"We have been witnessing an unprecedented wave of violence and intimidation against our supporters and candidates by the BJP goons and activists," Saha said, adding: "This is a blatant attempt by the ruling party to undermine the democratic process and intimidate opposition candidates."

In the previous Panchayat elections held on July 27, 2019, the ruling BJP had won more than 95 per cent of the seats of which 86 per cent were won unopposed, leading to an outcry from opposition parties. The opposition parties have been demanding the holding of panchayat elections with maximum security and allowing the filling of nomination papers through email.

There are 6,370 seats in 606 Gram Panchayats, 423 seats in 35 Panchayat Samitis, and 116 seats in eight Zilla Parishads, with 33 per cent reservation for women.

--IANS

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