Agartala, Feb 14 (PTI): An estimated 40 per cent of the voters had exercised their franchise till noon as long queues were seen before the booths in polling for the 60-member Tripura Assembly on Thursday, official sources said.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar cast his vote in the morning at a booth in Umakanta School in Ramnagar constituency.
Voting was stopped at Sonamura in West Tripura district and Dharmanagar in South Tripura district following some technical problem in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).
New EVMs were installed and voting resumed after 10 minutes of stoppage, officials said.
Elections to the Tripura Assembly, to which the Left Front hopes to return for a record fifth time, began at 7am amidst tight security, the sources said.
An electorate of 23,52,505, including 11,64,656 women, will decide the fate of 249 candidates belonging to 16 political parties, besides independents.
With the main contest between the Left Front and the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the dominant partner in the Front, is contesting 55 seats, the Revolutionary Socialist Party two, the Communist Party of India two and Forward Block one.
The Congress is contesting 48 seats and its alliance partners INPT in 11 and National Conference of Tripura in one.
The Border Security Force has sealed the 856 km-long border with Bangladesh and deployed additional forces to prevent infiltration.