Ranchi, Dec 16 (IANS) Over 62 per cent voting was recorded in the fourth and penultimate phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls, covering 15 seats across the Deoghar, Giridih, Bokaro and Dhanbad districts, on Monday.
According to the Election Commission data, 62.46 per cent turnout was witnessed in the phase with the highest polling — 75.50 per cent — reported from Chandankyari constituency.
People came out in large numbers to vote despite the cold and the Maoist boycott call. The state had witnessed rain on Sunday and the weather was cloudy in most parts.
In Dhanbad, an old women was brought on a cot so that she could cast her ballot.
Voting, which started at 7 a.m., ended at 3 p.m. on five seats – Bagodar, Jamua, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi – in Maoist-affected areas while in the remaining constituencies, it ended at 5 p.m.
There are a total of 221 candidates, including 23 women, in the fray in this phase with the maximum — 25 candidates — contesting from the Bokaro seat while the minimum (8) were trying their luck from the Nirsa seat.
Out of 15 seats, three — Deoghar, Jamua and Chandankiyari — are reserved for Scheduled Castes while remaining 12 are general seats.
A total of 47,81,422 voters were eligible to cast their votes in 6,101 booths, out of which 4,296 were in the rural areas.
In Maoist-affected areas, 587 booths were marked “very sensitive” and 405 “sensitive” while in the non-Maoist areas, 546 booths were “very sensitive” and 2,665 were “sensitive”.
On nine seats, the fight is between the BJP and Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance and triangular in the remaining seats, with BJP’s NDA allies like the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) contesting separately in the state.
Prominent candidates who are in the race for these seats include Labour Minister Raj Paliwar, Tourism Development Minister Amar Kumar Bauri, Ragni Singh, the wife of a sitting MLA who is in jail on charges of murder, and Raj Kishore Mahto of the AJSU.