RANCHI: An impressive 53.86 pc voter turnout was recorded till 1 PM in the 16 constituencies in tribal Santhal Parganas in Jharkhand where polling is underway in the fifth and final phase.
Pakur and Shikaripara constituencies recorded highest balloting of 60.5 per cent and 60.15 per cent respectively, and several other constituencies registered more than 50 per cent voting, an Election Commission (EC) release said.
Following close behind are Sarath (59.5), Litipara (59), Maheshpur (58), Nala (56), Jamtara (57), Jarmundi (57), Jama (56) and Poreyahat (56).
Barhait recorded 52, Rajmahal 50, Godda 48, Mahagama 48, Borio 46 and Dumka 43 per cent, it said.
Among those in the fray today are Chief Minister Hemant Soren from Dumka and Barhait, Speaker Shashank Sekhar Bhokta from Sarath and Rural Works Minister Lobin Hembrom from Borio.
Prominent Jharkhand politician and former Jharkhand Vikas Dal MP Suraj Mandal is challenging the speaker at Sarath.
Ruling JMM had won nine of the 16 seats in the 2009 assembly polls.
Police said polling is on smoothly and peacefully.
Altogether 208 candidates are contesting in this round of elections in which 36,90,069, including 17,84,486 women are eligible casting their votes at 4,448 polling stations.
EC said as many as 833 polling stations have been marked as hyper-sensitive and 1,496 sensitive and 291 polling stations will have web casting.
A total of 22,240 polling personnel have been deployed for the polling, which will end at 3 PM.
Counting is slated for December 23.