RANCHI: An estimated 44.65 per cent of over 47 lakh electorate cast their votes till 1 pm Monday in the fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections in 15 constituencies, Election Commission (EC) officials said.
Polling, which began at 7 am, is going on peacefully in the constituencies spread over Giridih, Deoghar, Dhanbad and Bokaro districts, they said.
Voting will end at 3 pm at Jamua, Bagodar, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi while the exercise will continue till 5 pm in the remaining seats, they said.
Meanwhile, voters at booth numbers 50 and 51 in Jamuna constituency of Giridih district, told reporters that they were not willing to vote due to "lack" of development in the area.
The officials were trying to convince them about the importance of exercising their democratic right.
The seats going for polls in this phase are Deoghar (SC), Jamua (SC), Chandankiyari (SC), Madhupur, Bagodar, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Bokaro, Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi and Baghmara spread across four districts.
A total of 47,85,009 voters, including 22,44,134 women and 81 third-gender people, are eligible to decide the fate of 221 nominees in this phase.
Prominent among the candidates are state Labour Minister Raj Paliwar from Madhipur seat and Land and Revenue Minister Amar Kumar Bauri from Chandankiyari constituency.
Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said armed forces have been deployed in the Naxal-affected pockets.
Of the 6,101 polling stations, 1,133 have been marked 'critical' and 3,070 'sensitive'.
The ruling BJP, seeking to retain power, is contesting all 15 seats in this phase.
The opposition alliance of the JMM, the Congress and the RJD has fielded candidates in accordance with their pre-poll seat adjustment plans.
The fifth and final phase of Jharkhand polls for sixteen seats will be held on December 20.
Counting process has been scheduled for December 23.