BJP’s acid test in high stakes LS battle in Jharkhand today
More than four million people are voting across Jharkhand’s three parliamentary constituencies – Chatra, Lohardaga and Palamau – on Monday.
Chief electoral officer (CEO), Jharkhand, L Khiyangate said, “All preparations are in place to hold the polls in all three Lok Sabha seats peacefully. Adequate number of security personal have been deployed in these constituencies.”Khiyangate said. The polling would start from 7am and it would conclude at 4pm. “Polling officials have been asked to reach their respective polling stations an hour before of polling starts,” he said.
A total of 59 candidates, including 26 from Chatra, 14 from Lohardaga and 19 from Palamau, are in poll fray in the state’s first phase of elections. BJP has a high stake in Lohardaga where union minister Sudarshan Bhagat has locked horn with grand alliance candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat. The grand alliance’s candidate Ghuram Ram and NDA’s V D Ram are bracing for a direct fight in Palamu also.
However, Chatra might see a triangular contest between BJP, Congress and RJD candidates. Congress’s Barhi legislator Manoj Kumar Yadav will face a ‘friendly contest’ with RJD’s Subhash Yadav there.
Of the 59 candidates, 13 candidates have declared criminal cases against them in the selfsworn affidavits to the election commission and 12 of them are facing serious criminal charges. There are 19 crorepati candidates in the three parliamentary constituencies.
Out of 6072 polling stations, 139 have been kept under vulnerable category where adequate number of security personnel have been ensured, election officials said.
Over 45.26 lakh electors including 23.85 male and 21.40 female voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the election. Altogether 266 model booths have been set up.
A total of 76,835 first time voters between the age group of 18-19 could play crucial role . To woo women voters to the polling stations, a total of 61 all women booths have also been set up, election officials said, adding, 100% VVPAT device are be used in all booths.
The state election commission has also stated that polling activities at 609 vulnerable booths across three constituencies will also go live through webcasting.