Campaigning ends for 2nd phase of Jharkhand polls

  • PTI, Ranchi
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2014 00:28 IST

Campaigning ended on Sunday for the second phase of Jharkhand polls which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi addressing rallies to woo the voters, who will cast ballot in 20 Assembly seats on December 2.

Former chief ministers Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda are in the fray among 223 candidates, including 35 women.

While campaigning ended at 5pm at Jamshedpur(East) and Jamshedpur(West) constituencies, it ended at 3pm in 18 other seats going for polls, Election Commission sources said.

With 16 out of the 20 constituencies reserved for tribals, Prime Minister Modi and Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi took up the tribal issue.

During his campaigning, Modi appealed to the electorate to ensure that BJP gets the majority to "free the state from political instability".

Modi termed as "lies" Rahul Gandhi's allegations that the BJP was trying to amend acts that protect tribal land, days after the Congress leader alleged that efforts were on to change acts protecting such land.

In her election speeches, AICC president Sonia Gandhi claimed that a majority of tribals from Gujarat-- Modi's home state-- had migrated as they had lost land to "capitalists".

Polling for 13 out of the 81 Assembly had taken place on November 25.

Altogether 18 sitting MLAs, including ministers and BJP vice-president and former deputy chief minister Raghuvar Das (Jamshedpur-East) are seeking re-election.

The BJP is contesting in 18 seats in this phase, leaving two - Tamar and Jugsalai - for its pre-poll alliance partner Ajsu party.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-Prajatantrik) and Trinamool Congress are contesting after striking a pre-poll alliance with JVM, fielding candidates in 18 seats, conceding two seats for TMC in this phase.

The BJP, Congress and JVM have fielded four women candidates each.

Despite running the government after snapping ties, the JMM and Congress are contesting against each other in all the 20 constituencies.

Incumbent agriculture minister Banna Gupta (Jamshedpur -West), HRD minister Geetashree Oraon (Sisai), both from the Congress, and industry minister Champai Soren (Seraikella) are also trying their luck for re-election.

In the 20 seats that are going to polls in the second phase, BJP had eight, JMM five, Congress two and rest were held by Independent and other parties. Baharagora seat is vacant. Contesting for the fifth time from Kharsawan seat, leader of the opposition and ex-chief minister Arjun Munda is one of the prominent BJP candidates in the fray.

Madhu Koda, who has the distinction of ruling a state for the maximum period of 23 months as Independent MLA at the head of Congress/JMM/RJD supported UPA, is contesting from Majhgaon on the ticket of his Jai Bharat Samanta Party.

Koda's former Cabinet colleague Anosh Ekka, who is fighting from Kolebira constituency, is in judicial custody in connection with the killing of a para-teacher on November 26.

Ekka's wife Menon Ekka is contesting from Simdega.

Former ministers Bimla Pradhan (BJP), Dulal Bhuyan (Congress), Joba Manjhi (JMM), Niel Tirkey (JMM-Simdega) and Bandhu Tirkey are also trying their luck.

Former IAS officer JB Tubid, who took voluntary retirement to join the BJP, is contesting from Chaibasa while former MLA Surya Singh Besra is fighting from Potka seat.

A total of 44,31,900 electorate, including 21,72,982 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 5,048 polling stations across seven Maoist-hit districts --Seraikella-Kharsawan, West Singhbhum, East Singhbhum, Khunti, Simdega, Ranchi and Gumla, Election Commission sources said.

A maximum 15 candidates are in the fray for Jamshedpur (West) while minimum eight nominees are contesting from Kharswan, Majhgaon, Torpa and Jagannathpur constituencies each.

The constituencies going for polls are : Baharagora, Ghatsila (ST) Potka (ST), Jugsalia (SC), Jamshedpur (East) Jamshedpur (West-15) Seraikella (ST), Kharsawan (ST), Chaibasa (ST), Majhgaon (ST), Jaganathpur (ST), Manoharpur (ST), Chakradharpur (ST), Tamar (ST), Torpa (ST), Khunti (ST), Mandar (ST), Sisai (ST), Simdega (ST) and Kolebira (ST).

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