J'khand polls: 56.02% polling recorded till 3pm

A first-time voter and her relatives show their inked finger after casting votes during the fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls, in Dhanbad. Photo/PTI

An estimated 56.02 percent of over 47 lakh electorate cast their votes till 3 pm on Monday in the fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls in 15 constituencies, Election Commission officials said.

Voting ended at 3 pm at Jamua, Bagodar, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi seats while the process will end at 5 pm in the remaining constituencies, the officials said.

Voters turned out in large numbers in Tundi, Sindri constituencies of Dhanbad and Pirtand block in Giridih seat defying banners and wall paintings put up by suspected Naxals asking the electorate to boycott polls. The families of prominent Maoists and the victims of Naxal violence were among those who exercised their democratic right.

Family members of Maoist Mishir Besra alias Samar Da of Madnadih cast votes at a booth in Pirtand. Besra is carrying a reward of Rs 1 crore on his head. A senior district official said, "It seems democracy has prevailed in the Naxal-hit areas." The family members of Kripal Singh, who was killed by Maoists, exercised their franchise at a booth in Tundi.

The seats that went for polls in the fourth phase are Deoghar (SC), Jamua (SC), Chandankiyari (SC), Madhupur, Bagodar, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Bokaro, Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi and Baghmara spread across four districts.

Key candidates in the fray are Land and Revenue Minister and BJP candidate Amar Kumar Bauri and Labour Minister and BJP nominee Raj Paliwar from Chandankiyari and Madhupur seats.

The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in all the 15 seats in this phase.

The opposition alliance of JMM, Congress and RJD have fielded candidates as per their pre-poll seat adjustments.

Out of the total 81 assembly seats, elections for 50 seats had been concluded in the first three phases held between November 30 and December 12.

The fifth and final phase polling for 16 seats will be held on December 20 and counting will be taken up on December 23.

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