About 35 per cent polling in first 4 hours in Jharkhand

 

RANCHI, Dec 20: Brisk polling was on in Jharkhand, where about 35 per cent votes were cast in the first four hours in the fifth and final phase today.

Election Commission said 34.94 per cent votes were polled till 11 AM in the 16 constituencies in tribal Santhal Parganas.

Long queues were seen at the booths as the sun came out and the December morning chill decreased and polling was so far peaceful in all the six districts where polling was on.

The six districts are Dumka, Pakur, Godda, Sahibganj, Jamtara and a part of Deogarh which forms the Jarmundi constituency.

According to an EC release, the constituency-wise percentage was Rajmahal 35, Borio 33, Barhait 40, Littipara 39.50, Pakur 41 per cent, Maheshpur 39 and Shikaripara 34.

At Nala it was 33 per cent, Jamtara 34 per cent, Dumka per cent 30.5, Jama 33, Jarmundi 34.5, Sarath 34, Poreyahat 37, Godda 27 and Mahagama 35, the release added.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is among the 208 candidates in the fray today, is contesting from Barhait and Dumka, a seat he had won in the 2009 polls.

Speaker Shashank Sekhar Bhokta is in the fray from Sarath.

Model booths have been set up by the EC as in the earlier phases with facilities like chairs and drinking water for the voters. Children accompanying their parents were given toffees.

As many as 833 of the 4,448 polling booths have been marked as hyper-sensitive and 1,496 as sensitive, while 291 will have web casting.

Earlier in the day, voters boycotted polling in Litipara constituency in Pakur district protesting against lack of basic amenities. They were later convinced to exercise their franchise by the polling and administrative officials, who assured them that their complaints would be looked into.

In all 36,90,069 electorate, including 17,84,486 women will cast their vote today.

A total of 22,240 polling personnel, 16 general observers, 10 expenditure observers, three police observers, one awareness observer and 1,050 micro observers have been deployed to oversee the democratic exercise amid adequate security arrangements.

Counting will be taken up on December 23. (AGENCIES)

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