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Jharkhand polls: First phase polling underway, 15 pc polling till 10 AM

PTI November 25, 2014 11:49 IST

Ranchi: Fifteen per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling in 13 of the 81 Assembly constituencies of Jharkhand. 

“About 15 per cent polling was reported till 10 AM,” an Election Commission official said.

Voters, particularly women in large numbers, were seen standing in front of booths across the 13 constituencies as voting progressed smoothly and peacefully on a pleasant winter morning.

“Voting is going on peacefully in both Gumla and Bishunpur,” Gumla Deputy Commissioner Gouri Shankar Minz and Superintendent of Police Bhimsen Tuti said.  Adequate security arrangements have been made in all the 13 constituencies which are Maoist-affected ----Chatra (SC), Gumla (ST), Bishunpur (ST), Lohardaga (ST), Manika (ST), Latehar (SC), Panki and Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur (SC), Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur.  

The seats are spread over six districts.  An electorate of 33,61,938, of whom 15,77,090 are women voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise today to choose among 199 candidates, including 18 women.  Ten sitting MLAs are testing their fate in their respective constituencies today. Several former MLAs are also in the fray.

Jharkhand Rural Development minister Krishna Nand Tripathi of the Congress is the lone minister in the Hemant Soren Cabinet contesting from Daltonganj.  This is the third Assembly election in Jharkhand which was carved out of Bihar in 2000.