Jharkhand polls: Voting ends in 18 seats amid violence

Ranchi (IANS) Polling concluded in 18 of the 20 Assembly seats amid a few incidents of violence in the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls.

The initial reports said that the polling percentage was over 55 till 3 p.m. The final voter turn out percentage will come after polling concludes in two more Assembly seats at 5 p.m.

The polling which started at 7 a.m. ended at 3 p.m. on 18 Assembly seats. The voting in Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West two Assembly seats will conclude at 5 p.m.

In poll related violence, one youth was killed in police firing and six including three policemen were injured in the Sisai constituency of Gumla district.

Maoist Guerrillas also set on fire a polling bus in West Singhbhum district. The polling was cancelled at polling booth number 36 after firing. The polling officials and security personnel left the polling centre with EVM machines after the incident of firing.

The Election Commission has sought detailed report from the Gumla district administration.

The fate of 260 candidates fighting in the 20 Assembly seats will be decided by 48,25,038 voters including 23,93,437 women.

Police sources said that more than 40,000 security forces were deployed for the second phase of voting which is largely taking place in Maoist-infested areas.

Of the 20 seats, 16 are reserved for the Schedule Tribe (ST) and one for the Schedule Caste (SC).

Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting from the Jamshedpur East seat, where he is pitted against former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.

Also in the fray in this phase are Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and state BJP President Laxman Giluwa.

Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is fighting from the Tamar Assembly seat. Kundan Pahan is locked in a triangular fight with AJSU candidate Vikas Munda and former jailed Minister Gopal Krishna alias Raja Peter.

Of the 20 constituencies, the fight is triangular on at least seven Assembly seats and the rest of the seats will see direct fight between the BJP and Congress-JMM-RJD alliance.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das cast his vote in his Assembly constituency Jamshedpur East earlier on Saturday.

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