Agartala, May 25: The Tripura election department has set in motion its preparation for the Lok Sabha elections following a firm directive from the Election Commission.
The process of preparation is to be completed by the end of August this year, according to the commission’s directive.
Chief electoral officer G.S.G. Ayengar has held two successive meetings with district magistrates and additional district magistrates on May 19 and with the representatives of political parties on May 20.
At the same time the task of revision of electoral rolls has also commenced with January 1, 2008, as the cut-off date.
Official sources in the election department said the Lok Sabha polls in the state would come off on the basis of fresh delimitation of seats, which last took place in 1988, to raise the number of seats reserved for tribals from 17 to 20.
“According to the latest delimitation, the number of seats reserved for Scheduled Castes will go up from seven to 10. The number of Assembly seats in Udaipur subdivision of South Tripura will go down from present five to four and in Amarpur subdivision will go up from two to three,” a source said.
Briefing newspersons about the commission’s directive, Ayengar said the number of polling booths in Tripura would rise from the current 2,391 to a little over 3,000 because of the restructuring of booths.
He added that considering the 93 per cent polling rate in the last Assembly polls, a decision has been taken to increase the number of booths.
“In rural areas a booth will have a maximum of 1,000 voters while in the urban areas a maximum of 1,200 voters will be registered with a booth,” Ayengar said, adding that not more than three booths would be accommodated in a polling station.
“The commission has a standing directive that a polling booth should have at least 300 voters. But in the case of Tripura, there is a relaxation because in the last Assembly polls we had to open a booth for only four voters in the rebel-infested Takarjala Assembly constituency,” said Ayengar.
He, however, said from June 15, claims and objections from voters and political parties would commence on the proposed realignment of polling booths and stations and the final list of booths and stations would be published on June 30.
On the issue of delimitation of constituencies, Ayengar said efforts were being made to see that constituencies do not overlap districts.
Ayengaradded that the process would be completed by the end of August as directed by the commission. He said the commission has held a meeting of the chief electoral officers and another meeting is scheduled to come off in June for a fresh briefing on the ongoing task of setting the stage for the Lok Sabha elections.