Voting for 2nd phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls begins amid tight security

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RANCHI: The second phase of polling at 20 constituencies in Jharkhand began on Saturday morning.

According to the media report, the voting commenced at 7 am amidst a tight security arrangement.

Earlier, an Election Commission release had said, the voting exercise in 18 seats will end at 3 pm, voters in Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West) constituencies can vote till 5 pm.

The assembly segments going for polls are: Baharagora, Ghatsila (ST), Potka (ST), Jugsalai (SC), Jamshedpur (East), Jamshedpur (West), Seraikela (ST), Chaibasa (ST), Majhgaon (ST), Jaganathpur (ST), Manoharpur (ST), Chakradharpur (ST), Kharsawan (ST), Tamar (ST), Torpa (ST), Khunti (ST), Mandar (ST), Sisai (ST), Simdega (ST) and Kolebira (ST).

A total of 48,25,038 voters, including 23,93,437 female and 90 third gender voters, are eligible to vote to decide the fate of 260 candidates, including 29 women nominees and 73 independents.

According to the report from the Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey, out of a total of 6,066 polling stations, 949 have been declared 'critical' and 762 sensitives' in Naxal-affected areas. So, armed police have been deployed as a part of security measures.

The CEO said that 101 polling stations have been relocated due to security reasons and a free transport facility has been arranged for voters to reach these stations to exercise their franchise.

A total of 1,016 polling stations are located in towns and cities while 5,050 are in rural areas.

As per the report, webcasting facilities have been made available at 1,662 polling stations. Out of the total polling stations, there are 337 model polling stations and 94 polling stations will be overseen by women polling personnel.

According to police sources, more than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed on the 20 seats spread across seven districts.

The BJP is contesting in all the twenty constituencies in the second phase while the opposition alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Congress are contesting in 14 and six seats respectively.

The RJD, which has got a total of seven seats as per the seat-sharing formula of the three opposition parties, has no candidate in this round.

NDA ally AJSU party, which is contesting the assembly elections on its own for the first time since the creation of the state, has fielded candidates from 12 constituencies in this phase.

The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) has nominated leaders in all the 20 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party has fielded in 14 segments.

The CPI is contesting in two seats while the CPI-M is contesting in one and NCP in two.

Six candidates of the All India Trinamool Congress are also in the fray in this phase.

On November 30, the first phase of the five-phase polling for 13 constituencies had concluded.

The polls were held in Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa, and Bhawanathpur.

The rest of the three phases will be held on December 12, 16 and 20.

Counting will take place on December 23.

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