PATNA: An impressive 65 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the Tuesday’s second phase of the Assembly elections to 20 constituencies in Jharkhand, despite the Maoist call to boycott the polls.
The majority of the seats, spread over seven districts, that went to the polls on Tuesday were listed as highly sensitive owing to the presence of hardcore ultras.
The high turnout clearly indicated that the people had completely rejected the Maoist diktat.
“The highest polling was recorded in Bhragora constituency (73 per cent), followed by Majghao (72 per cent) and Kharsawa (71 per cent),” said an election official, adding that polling was by and large peaceful.
Interestingly, 17 of the 20 seats that went to the polls on Tuesday belonged to the reserved category.
The BJP is heavily banking on this phase of the elections, as the party had won eight of the 20 seats in the 2009 Assembly polls. More importantly, the saffron party had seen a surge in the vote percentage in the Parliamentary elections.
The turnout in these constituencies in the 2009 Assembly polls was 58.26 per cent, while it was 63.82 per cent in the recently held Lok Sabha polls, Election Commission officials said in New Delhi.
More than 44 lakh voters would decide the fate of 223 candidates, including many high- profile candidates such as former Chief Ministers Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda, in the five-phase Assembly polls. Three ministers of outgoing Soren Government are also in the fray.
Another notable candidate is Gita Koda, wife of Madhu Koda, who floated the Jai Bharat Samanta Party.
The state has seen nine governments, besides the imposition of President’s Rule on four occasions in the past 14 years since its formation in 2000.