The five-phase Jharkhand polls are underway. Voting for the third-phase ended today in a peaceful atmosphere. No untoward incident took place. The polling commenced at 7 AM in all the 17 constituencies amidst tight security. The political fate of 309 candidates, including 32 women in the third phase of polls are hanging in the balance.
Polling started at 7 AM
Polling began at 7 AM; women outnumbered men in the beginning. Long queues of voters were seen. Voting in Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Barkatha and Ramgarh constituencies concluded at 5 PM, while in the rest of the 12 seats, voters exercised their franchise till 3 PM. Out of 17 seats, two are reserved for SC candidates while one seat is for ST. Overall, 61.9 per cent voters turned out to vote in the third phase for 17 seats assembly polls in Jharkhand.
Vinay Kumar Choubey, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Jharkhand, said, “A total of 56,18,267 voters are eligible to cast votes in the 17 constituencies across eight districts. The voters include a total of 26,80,205 women and 86 third gender voters”. He further added that over 40,000 police personnel had been deputed to conduct smooth and peaceful voting.
Arrangement for free and fair polls
A massive deployment of police personnel was made to conduct a fair and smooth election. Seeing the sensitivity of the area officials made proper arrangement for free and fair voting. Seven thousand sixteen polling stations were set up for the third-leg, out of which over 1,008 were marked as critical and 543 sensitive in Naxal hit area. There were 13,504 ballot units, 8,772 controlling units and 9,123 VVPAT in today’s17 seats elections.
Modi urges to vote
Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged people especially young voters, to vote in large numbers. “The third phase of Jharkhand polls will take place today. Urging all those whose seats go to the polls today to vote in large numbers. I particularly urge my young friends to vote,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
PM Criticises Congress
PM Modi addressed a rally today in Dhanbad where he criticised the Congress for spreading misinformation and held them responsible for spreading violence in the Northeast for gaining political mileage.
Rahul tries to be a Messiah of farmers
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has promised to waive off farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh in Jharkhand if the alliance comes into power. He also lambasted Modi over the increase of rape cases in the country and said: “daughters need to be saved from his MLAs”.
A solo run by BJP
The BJP is contesting this election alone because its previous partner in the state All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) parted ways on the eleventh hour. In 2014, the ruling party bagged 37 seats in its kitty, while AJSU won five. This way, they crossed the majority mark in the 81-member assembly seats in the state.
Try to encash Citizenship Bill
The saffron party has a strong base in urban and semi-urban constituencies in the state. Along with this, the ruling party would like to encash the passing of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the thumping victory of the party in Karnataka by-polls. How much these issues prove beneficial in Jharkhand, it is difficult to predict at the moment.
Alliance looks formidable
At the outset, the combination of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are looking quite formidable. In 2014, all the three parties fought assembly polls in the state separately. Remember in the last assembly polls, 33 seats were decided with the margins below 10,000 votes. This has made the ongoing assembly polls into a seesaw battle, because a united opposition may be able to snatch power from the ruling party.
The fate of Key candidates hangs in the balance
Some of the notable candidates are in the poll fray in the third leg of elections are former chief minister Babulal Marandi, Urban Development Minister CP Singh and Education Minister Neera Yadav. Marandi, the president of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), is fighting from Dhanwar while CP Singh and Neera Yadav are trying their luck from Ranchi and Kodarma seats respectively. The AJSU party president, Sudesh Mahto is contesting from Silli, and the notable thing is that BJP is not challenging Mahto in Silli.