North India

63 pc voter turnout recorded in Jharkhand, polling peaceful: Official

Polling was held peacefully in three constituencies in Jharkhand's second round of Lok Sabha constituencies on Monday with a voter turnout of 63 per cent, officials said.

Ranchi: Polling was held peacefully in three constituencies in Jharkhand’s second round of Lok Sabha constituencies on Monday with a voter turnout of 63 per cent, officials said.

In the Gandey assembly by-poll where jailed former chief minister Hemant Soren’s wife Kalpana Soren is the JMM contestant, 68.26 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise.

Voting commenced at 7 am in Chatra, Hazaribag, and Koderma Lok Sabha constituencies and ended at about 5 pm. It was peaceful in all the three constituencies, officials said.

Hazaribag registered the highest voter turnout of 64.32 per cent, followed by Chatra (62.96 per cent) and Koderma (61.86 per cent).

Chief Electoral Officer K Ravi Kumar said, “Polls have concluded peacefully in the state. Till 7 PM, the average voter turnout was 63 per cent across the three Lok Sabha seats of Jharkhand. The polling parties have started arriving back.”

About 58.34 lakh voters, including 28.35 lakh women, were eligible to vote in these constituencies.

He said that during the day, a total of seven FIRs were registered for violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) – two each in Palamu, Latehar and Hazaribagh and one in Giridih.

“Polling was boycotted across two booths in Hazaribagh and one in Panki,” he said.

Jharkhand police spokesperson Amol V Homkar said polls in three Lok Sabha seats concluded peacefully with no untoward incident.

“In LWE (left wing extremism) affected areas of Latehar, Giridih and Chatra, adequate security arrangements were made. About 44,000 security personnel were deployed while Jharkhand Jaguar and Cobra personnel are also conducting anti insurgency operations. Polling parties are returning amid elaborate security arrangements,” Homkar said.

Among the voters in Hazaribag was 81-year-old Abhijit Sen, who exercised his franchise at booth no 153.

“From the time of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to present PM Modi, I have voted in all the Lok Sabha and assembly elections since 1962,” Sen said.

First-time voter Aadya Chandra, 18, said she was happy to participate in the festival of democracy.

Similarly, 91-year-old Shankar Lal Chaudhary, who voted at Koderma, also expressed his happiness to take part in the process.

This phase involved 22 candidates in Chatra, 15 in Koderma, and 17 in Hazaribag.

In Hazaribag, villagers boycotted polling at booths 183 and 184 in Kusumbha village under Katkamdag due to unmet demand for a bridge.

There were 6,705 booths, including 6,130 in rural areas. Among these, 73 were managed by women, 13 by persons with disabilities, and 13 by youths.

The BJP fielded Manish Jaiswal from Hazaribag who exuded confidence that the party will win the elections. Party’s Chatra aspirant Kalicharan Singh also claimed that he would win.

The Congress has nominated KN Tripathi from Chatra and Jai Prakash Bhai Patel from Hazaribag. CPI (ML) Liberation fielded Bagodar MLA Vinod Kumar Singh from Koderma.

“Average Voter Turnout at Gandey Bypolls was 68.26 per cent”, Chief Electoral Officer K Ravi Kumar said.

A total of 11 candidates, including JMM’s Kalpana Soren and Dilip Kumar Verma of the BJP, are in the fray in Gandey.

The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Sarfaraz Ahmad, who was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed.

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