Agartala, Jul 10 (PTI) The panchayat polls in Tripura will be held on August 8, a state election commission official said on Wednesday.

The counting of votes will take place on August 12, State Election Commissioner (SEC) Saradhindu Chowdhury said.

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Addressing a press conference, he said the notification for the three-tier panchayat elections will be issued on Thursday. The last date for filing nominations will be on July 18 and a scrutiny of papers is scheduled on July 19.

The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers will be on July 22, he said.

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The northeastern state has 591 (6,111 seats) gram panchayats, 116 (419 seats) panchayat samities and eight (116 seats) zilla parisads.

Chowdhury said the panchayat elections will be held on ballot papers, and online submission of nomination papers will not be allowed in the election process as there is no such rule.

Opposition parties had demanded that online submission of nomination papers for the panchayat election be allowed.

"According to the existing rules, nomination papers must be submitted by candidates in person to the returning officers," he mentioned.

The SEC has already held meetings with the police to provide security to conduct free and fair elections, another official said.

"Adequate protection will be made to ensure peaceful elections," he said.

On the deployment of forces during the day of the election, the SEC said Tripura State Rifles (TSR) and state police will guard the polling stations due to the non-availability of the required number of central forces.

Altogether 12.90 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three-tier panchayat elections.

The BJP candidates were elected unopposed in over 80 per cent of the seats of the three-tier panchayat in the last rural elections.

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