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Tripura announces district council polls

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, March 31 (IANS) - The elections to the Tripura Tribal Autonomous District Council (TTADC), which facilitates the socio-economic development of the tribals, will be held May 3, an official said here today.

The 30-seat TTADC, which has jurisdiction over two-thirds of the State's areas, was constituted in 1985 after amending the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

State Election Commissioner YP Singh told reporters that 6,36,169 voters, including 316,027 females, are eligible to vote in the elections.

"To conduct the sixth TTADC polls in a free and peaceful manner, the State government has sought Central forces from the Union Home Ministry," Singh said.

The State governor will issue the statutory notification April 5, inviting nominations from candidates.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front, which now controls the council, also announced its candidates today.

"After the Congress' debacle in the 2008 Assembly polls and the last year's Lok Sabha elections, the TTADC polls are an acid test for the main Opposition party," veteran Congress leader and columnist Tapas Dey said.

"The Congress would be in an alliance with the tribal Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT)," Dey told IANS.

There are 18 departments functioning under the TTADC, including agriculture, forest, school education, industry, health and family welfare, finance, law and public works.

In Tripura, tribals constitute one-third of the State's 3.5 million population. In the 60-member State Assembly, 20 seats are reserved for the tribals.

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