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85 percent vote in Tripura village polls

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, Feb 24 (IANS): The village committee polls in Tripura witnessed 85 percent voting on Wednesday, officials said.

A total of 645,840 people were eligible to vote in 528 of the 587 village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

The polling began at 8 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m without any major disruption. The vote count will be held on February 27 in 51 locations.

An official said that in many places tribal men and women braved rains to stand in long queues in their traditional attires to vote.

There were 1,262 polling stations, mostly in remote and mountainous areas. Of the 645,840 electorate, mostly tribals, 318,909 were women.

"The Left parties have been elected unopposed in 59 village committees," State Election Commissioner G. Kameswara Rao said.

In all, 8,194 candidates from national and local parties contested the elections.

The ruling Left Front led by the Communist Party of India-Marxist has put up 3,697 candidates.

The village committees, falling in areas under the politically important TTAADC, are equivalent to Gram Panchayats outside the council areas.

The Left Front retained the 30-member tribal autonomous body for the third consecutive term last year.

The TTAADC governs two-third of Tripura's 10,492 square km area.

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