Third phase Jharkhand polls register close to 58 per cent polling till 3 pm
Polling was extended by two hours till 5 pm in Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha seats to increase the polling percentage.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 18:34 IST
Close to 58% voter turnout was registered till 3 pm in the third phase of the five-phase Jharkhand assembly elections held on 17 seats on Thursday, which will also decide the fate of one former chief minister, two cabinet ministers, and seven sitting MLAs.
Barring a few incidents of technical snag in electronic voting machines (EVMs) at some polling stations in the morning hours, the polling went peacefully.
Polling was extended by two hours till 5 pm in Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha seats to increase the polling percentage.
While Ranchi recorded the lowest turnout of 39.85% till 3 pm, it will improve by 5 pm. Silli constituency in Ranchi district registered 68.22% turnout—the highest in the third phase.
Long queues were seen in the left-wing extremism (LWE) affected polling booths in the 12 Maoist hit constituencies, including Jhumra, Lugu, and Lalpania. 1,008 polling stations were classified as hyper LWE sensitive and 543 as LWE sensitive for the third phase.
Former union minister Subodhkant Sahay, the first to vote at his polling booth in Khijri constituency, alleged polling was delayed by 90 minutes due to a snag in the EVM.
Cabinet ministers CP Singh and Neera Yadav along with sitting legislators-JP Yadav, Manish Jaiswal, Rajkumar Yadav, Yogeshwar Mahto, Sadhucharan Mahto, Ramkumar Pahan and Naveen Jaiswal-contested in this phase.
JVM-P chief and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, AJSU party president Sudesh Mahto and former minister Rajendra Singh were also among the 309 contestants in this phase.
Urban development minister CP Singh said the polling percentage indicated BJP will win big on the 17 seats that polled on Thursday. The saffron party had won nine of these seats in 2014 assembly polls.
Subodhkant Sahay said the phase marked the voters’ anger against the BJP government’s functioning, while Babulal Marandi predicted a strong performance from his party JVM-P in this phase. Congress, JMM, and JVM-P had won two seats each in 2014 assembly polls.
The 17 constituencies had seen 58.01% voting in 2005, 56.70% in 2009 and 63.96% in 2014 assembly polls. 64.22% people voted in the first phase and 65.85% in the second phase in the 2019 polls. The fourth and the fifth phase will be held on December 16 and 20 and results will be declared on December 23.