RANCHI: Sixty-two of the total 309 candidates contesting on 17 Assembly seats in the third phase of the Jharkhand elections face serious criminal charges. According to an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) report, two candidates have also admitted that they have murder charges against them. “BJP and AJSU have a maximum number of six candidates each with serious criminal charges, while JVM has five candidates and Congress has three,” stated the ADR report.
While 48 per cent candidates have declared their educational qualification to be between 5th and 12th standard, 45 per cent are graduates or above.The report states that out of 7,016 polling booths, 5,342 booths were declared as most sensitive. Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said, 192 polling personnel were deployed at 95 polling booths in LWE-hit areas.
The third phase of polling is significant as political heavyweights such as JVM chief Babulal Marandi, AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto, Urban Development Minister CP Singh and Education Minister Neera Yadav are in fray. Both Marandi and Mahto lost in the last Assembly election and their political careers are at stake.
Of the 17 seats, BJP has the maximum number of 10 seats, while 3 are with JMM, two with Congress and one with AJSU. In this phase, a total of 44 all-women polling booths were set up, out of which 21 are in Ranchi with a maximum of 11 in Hatia. In view of the Maoist threat, the EC has relocated 10 polling booths. On Thursday, polling will be held between 7 AM to 3 PM on 12 seats while on the remaining 5 seats between 7 AM till 5 PM.