Defying all fear of Maoists backlash, the 14 Naxal-infested assembly constituencies that went to polling in the fourth and penultimate phase on Saturday, registered an impressive 59 per cent voting.
"It is a tentative figure. The voting per centage may increase further when presiding officers’ reports from remote areas will be compiled tomorrow," State's Joint Chief Electoral Officer AK Sinha told Hindustan Times in Ranchi on Saturday. Except some minor incidents of skirmishes the polling passed-off peacefully amidst tight security arrangements. Around 40,000 armed security personnel were deployed to ensure fair and peaceful polling in these constituencies, he said.
According to reports reaching at the state election office at the end of polling, three constituencies in the East Singhbhum district namely Baharagora, Ghatshila and Potka recorded an average 62.5 per cent polling. Majhgaon, Manoharpur and Chakradharpur in West Singhbhum district recorded 55 per cent voting. Similarly, Ichagarh constituency 68 per cent, Torpa 58 per cent, Sisai, Gumla and Bishunpur in Gumla district around 56 per cent while Simdega and Kolebira seats in Simdega district registered 60 per cent polling. Lohardaga constituency, too, registered 60 per cent polling.
Altogether four persons were arrested during the polling on the charges of creating disturbances around polling station. They were freed in the evening.
There were 233 candidates, 20 of them women, in the fray in the fourth phase. With this, polling in 65 seats, out of total 81, have been completed. Election in the rest 16 Maoist-affected constituencies will be held in the fifth and final phase on December 18. Results for all the 81 seats will be announced on December 23.