Ranchi: The first phase of polls in Jharkhand on Thursday in four parliamentary constituencies — Palamu, Koderma, Lohardaga and Chatra — registered 58.3% voter turnout, an improvement of 8%, compared to the 2009 general elections in these seats.
Women show the ink marks on their fingers after casting votes in Giridih on Thursday. (Binod Kumar Sharma/HT photo)
Chatra registered 53.88% turnout, an improvement of 8% compared to 2009 figures, Koderma registered 60.97% turnout, an increase of 4% over last time’s figures, Lohardaga registered 59% turnout, an increase of 6% compared to last time and the sensitive constituency, Palamu, witnessed 59.39% turnout, an improvement of 14% compared to last time.
“The poll percentage was below our expectations. Considering the awareness drive we launched to make voters aware, we were expecting an improvement of 20-25% over the last poll figures. Urban apathy could be one of the factors,” PK Jajoria, the chief electoral officer of Jharkhand, said.
The CEO also did not rule out Maoist call of poll boycott to some extent for the not so impressive voter turnout.
The scorching weather might have also played spoilsport, Jajoria said. Polling in all the four constituencies was conducted peacefully with no major incidents reported from anywhere, barring vandalising of some ballot units at Rajdhanwar assembly segment in Giridih, Jajoria added.
“Re-poling would be held at booth number 329 at Rajdhawar as the ballot units were destroyed by anti-social elements, thus stalling the polling process, the CEO said. In Lohardaga, a voter reportedly stabbed a poll officer, following a dispute over his name in the list.