Good turnout in Jharkhand as voters defy Maoists

Good turnout in Jharkhand as voters defy Maoists

Defying a poll boycott call by Maoists, voters in Jharkhand Tuesday turned out in good numbers in the first of the five-phase assembly elections, officials said.

"Around 61.92 percent polling took place in the first phase. The highest turnout was in Bhavnathpur with 69.6 percent, while the lowest was in Chatra with 53.85 percent. Polling was by and large peaceful," an election official told IANS.

Voting took place in 13 of the 81 assembly constituencies in six Maoist-affected districts. Over three million voters were eligible to cast their ballot.

The fate of 199 candidates was sealed in the electronic voting machines (EVMs). A total of 3,939 polling booths were set up for the first phase.

As many as 1,752 polling stations were declared super-sensitive and 1,104 sensitive.
Webcasting was done in 263 polling stations.

Polling began at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m. The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party contested in 12 constituencies each, the Congress in seven and its alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal in six.

State Rural Development Minister K.N. Tripathi, Congress's state president Sukhdeo Bhagat, and former minister and Janata Dal-United candidate Sudha Chowdhary are among the prominent contenders in this round of polling.

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