The polling on Saturday will be second in the five-phase assembly election in the tribal state. Election Commission sources said the EC has deployed polling and security personnel for free, fair and peaceful votes.
The fates of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Speaker Dinesh Oraon and ministers Neelkanth Singh Munda and Ramchandra Sahis will be decided in the second phase of polling in Jharkhand on Saturday. The voting on Saturday will also see the BJP state unit president Laxman Gilua trying his electoral luck. They will be among the 260 candidates in the fray in 20 assembly seats. Of them 29 are women nominees and 73 are independents.
The polling on Saturday will be second in the five-phase assembly election in the tribal state. Election Commission sources said the EC has deployed polling and security personnel for free, fair and peaceful votes. The people will exercise their franchise between 7 a.m and 5 p.m in Jamshedpur(East) and Jamshedpur(West) constituencies, while in the rest 18 the time to do so would end at 3 pm, an EC release said.
This was being done to allow polling personnel to travel from the remote areas during shorter winter days to deposit the EVMs in the strong rooms, a government official said. Das will take on his former cabinet colleague turned independent candidate Saryu Roy in Jamshedpur (East) Oraon is contesting from Sisai on a BJP ticket, while Munda, who is the rural development minister is in the fray in Khunti. Gilua is contesting from Chakradharpur.
Sahis, an AJSU party candidate, is in the fray in Jugsalai seat. Sixteen of the 20 constituencies going to the polls on Saturday are reserved for the scheduled tribe candidates and one for the scheduled caste, the release said. According to police, more than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed in the 20 seats spread across seven districts.
All preparations are in place to hold peaceful, impartial and transparent polling, Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said at a press conference here. He said a total 6066 polling stations have been set up in the constituencies going for polls in the second phase.
Webcasting facilities will be provided in 1662 polling stations. A total 337 are model polling stations and 94 will be exclusively conducted by women, Choubey said. A total 48,25,038 voters, including 23,93,437 female and 90 third gender voters, will decide the fate of 260 candidates. The assembly seats where polls will be held on Saturday are Baharagora, Ghatsila(ST), Potka(ST), Jugsalai (SC), Jamshedpur(East), Jamshedpur(West), Seraikela(ST), Chaibasa(ST), Majhgaon(ST), Jaganathpur(ST), Manoharpur(ST), Chakradharpur(ST), Kharsawan(ST), Tamar(ST), Torpa(ST), Khunti (ST), Mandar(ST), Sisai(ST), Simdega(ST) and Kolebira(ST), they said.
Former Jharkhand PCC president Pradeep Kumar Balmachu, who has joined the AJSU party recently, is contesting from Ghatsila. JD-U president Salkhan Murmu is contesting from Majhgaon and JVM-P candidate and former HRD minister Bandhu Tirkey is contesting from Mandar. The BJP is contesting in all the 20 constituencies going to the polls in the second phase, while the opposition alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress are contesting in 14 and six seats respectively.
AJSU party, an NDA ally which is contesting the assembly elections on its own for the first time since the creation of Jharkhand, has fielded candidates in 12 seats where polling will be held in this phase. The RJD, which has got a total of seven seats according to the seat-sharing formula by the three opposition parties has no candidate in the second phase of polling.
The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) has fielded candidates in all the 20 seats, while Bahujan Samaj Party is in the fray in 14 seats. The Left party CPI is contesting in two seats, while CPI-M is contesting in one and the NCP in two constituencies. Six candidates of All India Trinamool Congress are also in the fray in the second phase. The first phase had concluded on November 30. The fifth and final phase of polling will be held on December 20 and counting will take place on December 23, the Election Commission sources said.