Braving heat, 40% vote in Jharkhand Maoist belt

File photo: IANS

Ranchi (IANS) Despite soaring temperatures, 39.07 per cent voter turnout had been recorded in Jharkhand till around 1 p.m. on Monday for three Lok Sabha seats in the state's Maoist-affected areas, according to Election Commission (EC) data.

Polls for the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand are scheduled to be held in four phases, beginning with these three constituencies.

Voting, which began at 7 a.m. across 6,072 polling stations in the Lohardagga, Chatra and Palamau constituencies, will end at 4 p.m.

The EC data showed that Chatra witnessed 35.72 per cent voting, Lohardagga 40 per cent and Palamau 42.94 per cent.

The mercury has crossed 40 degrees Celsius in most parts where polling is taking place.

In the first phase of polling in Jharkhand, there are nine 'Sakhi' polling booths exclusively managed by women polling staff.

Polling could not start on time in at least seven polling booths due to technical snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and BJP candidate Sudarshan Bhagat cast his vote in Lohardagga.

A large voter turnout has been seen so far in the Maoist affected areas of the state. Long queues of voters formed early on Monday to join in the fourth phase of voting in the ongoing general elections. 

The mercury has been recorded 40 degree in Palamau and other parts of the polling areas.

Of the 6,072 polling booths, more than 40 per cent have been categorised as either "sensitive" or "very sensitive". Over 140 paramilitary force companies are deployed.

The fate of 59 candidates will be decided by 45,26,691 voters.

In the 2014 general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won all the three seats.

Chatra is witnessing a triangular fight between BJP's Sunil Singh, Congress' Manoj Yadav and the Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Subhash Yadav.

In Lohardagga, the BJP's Sudarshan Bhagat will take on Congress' Sukhdeo Bhagat.

In Palamau, the main contest is between V.D. Ram of the BJP and the RJD's Ghuran Ram.

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