Ranchi (IANS) Voting began on a brisk note for the two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand on Friday.
The polling began at 9 am and will end at 4 pm. The counting will take place from 5 pm. The voting is underway at the ground floor of the South Wing of the state assembly which has been converted into a polling booth.
A large of number of legislators have caste their votes. Adequate arrangements have been made amid the coronavirus menace. Legislators have to undergo thermal screening and hand wash is being provided to them for safety reasons.
The election for the two RS seat was scheduled on March 26 but was deferred due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the two seats of the Upper House of the Parliament, a total of three candidates are in the race including JMM president and former Chief Minister Shibu Soren, state BJP president Deepak Prakash and Congress nominee Shahzada Anwar.
Going by the numeric strength, the 81-member Jharkhand assembly currently stands at 79 as Chief Minister Hemant Soren who won from Barhet and Dumka seats of Santhal Pargana and later resigned from Dumka seat, while the Bermo seat has fallen vacant due to sudden demise of Congress legislator Rajendra Prasad Singh. One candiate needs 27 votes on first preference to win the seat.
If the assembly strength is taken into consideration, Shibu Soren is all set to enter the upper house as JMM alone has 29 members. Or the second seat Deepak Prakash of BJP has greater advantage over Shahzada Anwar as BJP has 26 MLAs including Babulal Marandi.
BJP is also likely to get support of two legislators of the AJSU party. The poll managers of the BJP have also claimed support of independent MLAs Amit Yadav and Saryu Rai.
On the other hand, the Congress after demise of Rajendra Singh has been left with 15 MLAs in the House while Pradeep Yadav and Bandhu Tirkey who had switched from JVM-P to Congress have been kept as Independent MLAs in the voter list. Other MLAs in the House who were eligible to vote included Binod Kumar Singh CPI-ML and Kamlesh Singh NCP, who will be voting for candidates of ruling coalition.