Voting in 59 seats of the 60-member Tripura Assembly began at 7 am on Sunday. Voting in Charilam constituency has been postponed to March 12 after the death CPI(M) candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Left Front have left no stone unturned to woo the voters.
Voting for the 59 out of 60 seats will be held at 3,214 polling stations. Polling in the Charilam constituency has been deferred due to the death of CPM candidate Ramendra Narayan Debbarma. It will be held on 12 March.
The much-awaited polling in this northeastern state will decide the electoral fortunes of 292 candidates, including 23 women.
The BJP and the Congress party are looking to root out the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which has been ruling the state for the past 25 years.
The BJP is making a determined bid to demolish the red bastion of 25 years, with stalwarts like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah leading the charge.
The BJP has never been a major player in Tripura which hitherto saw a battle between Left Front and the Congress.
In their attempt to remove the Manik Sarkar-led government from the state, the BJP has tied up with the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT). While the BJP is contesting from 51 seats, IPFT has been given the remaining nine seats.
The CPM has fielded candidates on 57 seats, leaving one each for its alliances.
The Congress, on the other hand, is fighting the battle alone.
The Congress, a principal rival of Left Front all these years, is witnessing a serious challenge from BJP this time.
The BJP had bagged just 5.70 per cent votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 1.5 per cent votes in the 2013 Assembly polls.
The BJP has already formed governments in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is seeking fifth term from his home constituency of Dhanpur, even stated that the main contest is between CPI(M) and the BJP.
As polling began for Tripura Assembly election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday appealed to the people of the state, particularly the young voters, to cast their votes.
"I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Tripura, particularly young voters, to turn out in record numbers and cast their vote in the Assembly Elections," Modi tweeted.
The results of the polling will be declared on March 3.