Polling is underway for 17 seats in the third phase of Assembly elections in Jharkhand. The poll-bound districts are Ranchi, Ramgarh, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro and Saraikela-Kharsawan.
Polling began at 7.00 AM. It will end at 3 p.m. in 12 constituencies that are Naxal-affected. In the remaining five constituencies – Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkattha, polling will continue till 5.00 PM. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polls.
Chief Electoral Officer, Vinay Kumar Choubey said more than 40,000 polling personnel have been deployed for smooth conduct of polls. Webcasting is being done at 2014 polling booths.
More than 56 lakh voters will decide the electoral destiny of 309 candidates, including 32 women. Ninety-nine independent candidates are also in the fray.
BJP has fielded 16 candidates. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and the opposition alliance of the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Rashtriya Janta Dal are contesting on all the 17 seats. All Jharkhand Students’ Union is contesting on 14 seats, BSP on 15 and CPI nine.
State cabinet ministers, CP Singh and Neera Yadav, AJSU party chief Sudesh Mahto, JVM President Babu Lal Marandi, former state minister and trade union leader Rajendra Prasad Singh, former chairperson of State Women’s Commission and litterateur Mahua Maji are among the prominent candidates in this phase.