The counting of votes for 222 seats in Tripura’s Agartala Municipal Corporation and other civic bodies started on Sunday amid tight security arrangements, F10 News reported.
By 2 pm on Sunday, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won 29 of the 51 wards under the Agartala Municipal Corporation, thus securing the majority, F10 News reported. The saffron party also won majority seats at the Ambassa and Khowai civic bodies.
The Bharatiya Janata Party candidates won all 11 wards of the Belonia Municipal Council, India Today reported.
Elections had been announced in the state for 334 seats in 20 urban local bodies, including the municipal corporation in the capital city Agartala. Of these, the BJP had won 112 seats unopposed earlier in November. Voting for the remaining seats was held on Thursday.
The state had witnessed a 81.52% voting turnout till 9.30 pm on Thursday, according to the Election Commission of India.
On Sunday, Tripura State Rifles and the Central Armed Police Force were guarding the counting centres, as the campaign to the civic elections have been marred with violence among political parties.
Earlier in November, the Trinamool Congress had filed a contempt petition alleging that the authorities in Tripura did not comply with its order to ensure a safe environment for political parties to campaign for the polls. On several occasions, the party’s members were attacked.
The Trinamool Congress had requested that the elections be postponed. However, the Supreme Court had stalled the request, saying that polls could be conducted lawfully. The court also called for additional security during the elections.
But, on Thursday – the day of the polls – the Trinamool Congress had alleged that its candidates were being beaten up by Bharatiya Janata Party supporters and people were being stopped from voting. The party also claimed that BJP supporters, fearful of defeat, were casting votes on behalf of the voters.
On Sunday, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said it will boycott counting of votes, alleging rigging, EastMojo reported. Party’s state Secretary Jitendra Chaudhury alleged that the State Election Commission had “completely surrendered before the ruling BJP”.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party in a statement said that it has had detailed discussion with the workers on the possible scenario in the aftermath of counting of votes.
“Party workers should maintain control at par with organizational tradition after announcement of results,” said BJP state spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya. “All party workers should remember their happiness and joy should not cause sadness of others.”