Women’s votes the deciding factor in many Tripura seats

February 22nd, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by admin  

Agartala, Feb 22 (IANS) Women voters in Tripura will play an important role in the outcome of Saturday’s assembly elections as they outnumber men in nine constituencies. Of the 313 candidates seeking elections to the 60-seat assembly, 31 aspirants are women, which is the highest in the northeastern state since 1952.

“Of the 60 assembly constituencies, women voters outnumber their male counterparts in nine assembly seats, of which six are reserved for tribals,” said G.S.G. Ayyangar, chief electoral officer of Tripura.

In all 2.03 million people, about half of them women, are eligible to vote for the state assembly.

“Women’s participation in election rallies is significant. They are at the forefront of the political battle for women’s empowerment in Tripura,” said Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Interestingly, the country’s smallest polling station is in Tripura.

According to Ayyangar, the Jampuijala JB Colony School under the tribal reserved Takarjala assembly constituency in west Tripura, about 35 km west of here, has only four voters.

“In all, 16 security personnel and seven polling officials have been deployed to take the votes of four voters in the very vulnerable polling station,” he added.

A large number of polling officials have to trek 35 to 40 km by foot to reach the polling stations in Dhalai and north Tripura districts.

“Four Indian Air Force helicopters have started aerial surveillances, covering all remote places considered to be vulnerable from the extremist point of view,” police spokesman Nepal Das said.

A record number of 60,000 security personnel, mostly paramilitary troopers, have been deployed to conduct the polls in a free and fair manner.

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