RANCHI: The third phase of polling for 17 Assembly seats in Jharkhand on Thursday saw a 62 per cent voter turnout. The Sill Assembly constituency recorded the maximum turnout, at 77 per cent. State capital Ranchi, however, fared the poorest in terms of voter turnout as it recorded a fairly modest 49 per cent polling.
The polling passed off without a hitch, with no report of violence or any untoward incident from any of the voting centres.Heavyweights such as former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) supremo Babulal Marandi, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) chief Sudesh Mahto, Urban Development Minister CP Singh and Education Minister Neera Yadav were in fray in the third phase.
Both Marandi and Mahto, who lost their seats in 2014 elections, went all out this time to recover their ceded political space. The polls, this time, are seen as their battle to remain relevant in the state’s political landscape.
A total of 309 candidates were in fray for the 17 Assembly seats, which went to polls on Thursday. Of the 17, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently holds 10 seats, followed by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) with 3, Congress with 2 and one each with AJSU and CPI (M-L).
For the third phase of polling, 44 all-women polling booths had been set up. Of the 21 such booths set up in Ranchi, 11 were in Hatia. As many as 208 model booths had also been put in place for the third phase of polling. Considering the Maoist threat, the Election Commission relocated 10 polling booths in the far flung areas and even arranged free transportation for voters.Counting for the 81-member Assembly is on December 23.