Rural voters defy Maoist boycott call
Rural voters defied Maoists’ boycott calls and registered over 68 per cent polling in the first phase of the panchayat polls in the state on Saturday. Over 68 per cent of the 52 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first of the four-phased election, which passed off peacefully. People turned up in large numbers on Saturday morning to cast their votes at all the 14,079 polling booths across 72 blocks in 21 out of the 24 districts. In the first phase, 52 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise. The other phases of the elections will be held on May 19, 24 and 29. Officials told that there were no reports of any untoward incidents in any of the polling booths which went to polls on Saturday.
Tiger reserve sees 1,500 forest fires this year
The Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) witnessed over 1,500 incidents of small or big forest fires this year. Officials however, said that no report of any damage to flora and fauna was reported due to fire incidents. Dehradun-based Forest Survey of India (FSI) which got to know about these fires through real-time satellite observation, alerted the authorities several time prompting the PTR fire-fighting team to swung into action and douse the flames soon after receiving such information from the FSI. Fires had broken out well over 500 times in the northern part of the PTR and nearly a 1,000 times in the southern part, claimed PTR officials.
Hunt on for Hemant Soren’s replacement
With CM Hemant Soren facing a tough time over two cases, one related to shell companies and another to mining lease, pending against him in the Jharkhand High Court which might lead to his disqualification from the state assembly if any of the verdicts goes against him. To deal with such circumstances, Soren is mulling his replacement. According to JMM sources, Soren is taking suggestions on the feasibility of appointing wife Kalpana Soren as his replacement in case of any untoward happens. Since the entire family is facing corruption charges, it will be a task for Soren to choose his replacement from outside the family. In such a situation, senior leader Champai Soren might be the pick.
Our correspondent in Jharkhand firstname.lastname@example.org