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Tripura votes to elect tribal autonomous district council

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, May 3 (IANS) - Amid heavy security, polling was under way in Tripura today to elect a Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC).

The authorities sealed the 856-km-long India-Bangladesh border with Tripura and deployed over 15,000 paramilitary and State security forces across the State, Director General of Police Pranay Sahaya said.

Night curfew has been clamped in some areas while over 3,000 people have been detained as a precaution, he said.

The TTAADC facilitates the socio-economic development of tribal areas. Tribals constitute a third of Tripura's 3.5 million population.

In all 162 aspirants, including 10 women, are contesting the 30-seat TTAADC. Balloting in one seat was postponed after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate died after being bitten by a dog.

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Front, the Congress and the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT), a tribal based party, are the dominant players.

The BJP and Trinamool Congress have also put up candidates for 22 and 13 seats respectively while 43 independents are in the fray.

For the first time, photo identity cards have been made compulsory for voters.

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