Election Body Reviews Preparations For February 2018 Tripura Assembly Polls

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti earlier arrived in Agartala from Nagaland, where the Election Commission undertook similar exercises.

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Election Body Reviews Preparations For February 2018 Tripura Assembly Polls

Elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are likely to be held simultaneously in February.

Agartala:  The Election Commission held meetings with senior Tripura officials and leaders of various political parties in Agartala on Tuesday to review preparations for the February 2018 Tripura assembly elections.

Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti earlier arrived in Agartala from Nagaland, where the Election Commission undertook similar exercises.

The five-year terms of the assemblies in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura -- with 60 seats each -- will end on March 6, 13, and 14 respectively. Elections in the three states are likely to be held simultaneously in February.

A Tripura Election Department official said the CEC, Election Commissioners Om Prakash Rawat and Sunil Arora, and Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain and other EC officials held a meeting with the state's Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti.

Another meeting was held with leaders of various political parties and senior officials, including Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan.

The Election Commission officials also held another meeting with District Magistrates and Collectors and Superintendents of Police of eight Tripura districts. 

Before leaving on Wednesday afternoon, the CEC will hold more meetings.

The commission has directed various departments, including power, education and public works, to inspect the roads leading to 3,170 polling stations to be set up in Tripura as well as uninterrupted electricity supply to them.

"Most political parties, including Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Congress, requested the EC to ensure polls were held in time while the Bharatiya Janata Party urged for foolproof electoral rolls before elections were held," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

The Left Front holds power in Tripura, the Congress in Meghalaya and the Naga People's Front-led Democratic Alliance of Nagaland in Nagaland. The Democratic Alliance is supported by the BJP.

A four-member EC team led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain visited Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya earlier this month. 

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On November 13, the Election Commission held a meeting in New Delhi with Chief Electoral Officers of the three states on poll preparations.

"The EC officials have apprised the three CEOs to ensure use of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines at all polling stations in these states," the official said.

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