Jharkhand sees 62 percent polling despite Maoist violence

Jharkhand sees 62 percent polling despite Maoist violence

5Ranchi, April 17 (IANS) Jharkhand Thursday saw 62 percent balloting for the six Lok Sabha seats that went to the polls in the second phase even as Maoists who had asked people to boycott the election, blew up a railway track and attacked security forces.

“Jharkhand registered overall polling of 62 percent,” chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria told reporters.

Amid the boycott call by Maoists, polling began at 7 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m.

Ranchi witnessed around 59 percent polling, while Jamshedpur registered the highest polling with 65 percent.

Jajoria said there were complaints over non-functioning of electronic voting machines at 122 booths which were later replaced.

Maoist guerrillas Thursday attacked security personnel at two places in Bokaro district, injuring four Central Reserve Police Force troopers.

They also blew up a railway track and a school building in the same district.

Landmine blasts also took place at a few places in Giridih, Hazaribagh and Bokaro district.

Governor Syed Ahmed and Chief Minister Hemant Soren cast their votes in state capital Ranchi where long queues of voters were seen.

The six seats where polling took place were Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Chaibasa, Khuti, Giridih and Hazaribagh. Maoists have significant presence in all the six constituencies.

A total of 8,525,179 voters Thursday voted to choose their representatives from among 106 candidates.

“There were 388,301 new electors in the age group of 18-19 years. Voting took place at 10,177 polling stations, of which 2,779 were highly sensitive while 3,070 were sensitive,” an Election Commission official told IANS.

The commission appointed 1,946 micro-observers to monitor the polling.

Of the total number of polling booths, 763 were covered with video cameras, 1,194 with still cameras and 600 through webcasting.

Around 45,000 security personnel drawn from paramilitary forces, police and home guards were deployed. Six choppers were also used, of which two were deployed for air surveillance.

Seven legislators, former central minister and Congress MP from Ranchi Subodh Kant Sahay, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha and sitting BJP MP Karia Munda and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha’s son Jayant Sinha were among Thursday’s aspirants.

The third and final phase in the state will be held April 24 for four seats. Jharkhand sends 14 representatives to the Lok Sabha.

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