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Lok Sabha elections 2019: A turnout bump in Jharkhand’s red belt despite heat

As many as 59 candidates, including Union minister Sudarshan Bhagat, and sitting legislator Sukhdeo Bhagat were in the fray on Monday.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 30, 2019 07:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Jharkhand,EC,Phase 4 polling
Officials said EVM glitches were reported from over hundred polling booths. (ANI Photo)

A 64.38% turnout was recorded as Jharkhand’s three out 14 Lok Sabha seats — Chatra, Lohardaga and Palamu — went to the polls in the fourth phase of the ongoing national elections on Monday. The polling for the remaining seats will be held on May 6, 12 and 19.

As many as 59 candidates, including Union minister Sudarshan Bhagat, and sitting legislator Sukhdeo Bhagat were in the fray on Monday.

“Barring two incidents of EVM tampering and inappropriate behaviour of a voter and some reports of EVM malfunctioning, the overall polling passed off peacefully with no report of untoward incident came up from any part of three constituencies,” said chief electoral officer (CEO) L Khiyangate.

Officials said EVM glitches were reported from over hundred polling booths. Polling at a booth in Chanho was delayed for over an hour due to a malfunctioning EVM. Umesh Mahto, a voter, said he had to wait for three hours before voting along with his wife, Sangita Devi. “Voting started only at 9.30 am,” Mahto said.

Khiyangate said 123 ballot units, 89 control units and 388 voter-verifiable paper audit trail machines were replaced.

At Madvania in Palamu, Vinod Prajapati was among those who said their names were missing from voters list.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said it would retain all the three seats. “The polling percentage in the fourth phase has been encouraging. It gives a strong sign that the BJP is retaining all three seats with a good margin of votes,” said BJP spokesman Pratul Shahdeo.

In Lohardaga, a reserved seat for scheduled tribes, Sudarshan Bhagat is up against Congress’ Sukhdeo Bhagat as he seeks to retain the seat he has held since 2009. Former IPS officer VD Ram is the BJP’s candidate from Palamu, where the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fielded Ghuran Ram. In Chatra, BJP’s Sunil Singh is up against RJD’s Subhash Yadav and Congress’s Manoj Yadav.

Bhagat accused the BJP governments in the state and at the Centre of misusing official machinery to win elections. He said the RJD-Congress alliance would win all three seats

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 00:37 IST

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