“Overall ballot percentage in Jharkhand in the third and final phase of poll is 63.55 percent. The polling output in Dumka and Dhanbad was 64 percent and 62 percent respectively,” Jharkhand Chief Election Commissioner P.K. Jajorioa told reporters.
Long queues of voters were seen in Dumka, Pakur, Dhanbad, Deoghar and other places.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren cast his vote in Bokaro district. Young voters also turned up in large numbers.
Polling began at 7 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m. in the four Lok Sabha constituencies of Dhanbad, Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda.
In 2009, the JMM won the Dumka seat while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested the remaining three seats.
An electorate of over 61 lakh voted to decide the fate of 72 candidates at 7,489 polling stations, of which 2,439 were categorized as sensitive and 1,154 highly sensitive.
A total of 415 booths were declared model polling stations. As many as 400 polling stations were connected through webcasting, 1,015 through video and 1,954 had still cameras, an official said.
About 45,000 security personnel, including Central Reserve Police Force, Jharkhand Jaguar, Indian Reserve Battalion, state police and home guards were deployed.
All eyes are on Dumka where former chief minister and president of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) Babulal Marandi and another former chief minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren are locked in a fight.
Both leaders have a large following in the tribal community.
Coal city Dhanbad is witnessing a three-cornered battle between incumbent BJP MP P.N. Singh, Congress’ Ajay Dubey and the TMC’s Chandra Shekhar Dubey.
Godda is also seeing a triangular contest between sitting BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Congress’ Furkan Ansari and JVM-P legislator Pradeep Yadav. The fourth key candidate is former IPS official Subodh Prasad who is fighting on the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) ticket.
In Rajmahal, the BJP has fielded Hemlal Murmu who was a JMM legislator and quit membership of the assembly just before the polls, while the JMM has fielded Vijay Hansda who also joined the party just before the election.