RANCHI: Around 61 per cent polling has been recorded on 20 Assembly seats amid a few incidents of violence in the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly polls on Saturday.
According to Election Commission data, 60.56 per cent voting took place in the second phase. The highest polling was recorded at Bharagora assembly seat with 74.44 per cent turnout and lowest at Jamshedpur West with 46.65 per cent turnout. The voting percentage at Chief Minister Raghubar Das' Assembly seat Jamshedpur East was only 49.12 per cent.
The polling which started at 7 a.m., ended at 3 p.m. on 18 Assembly seats. The voting in Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West concluded at 5 p.m. A 95-year-old woman Kaushlaya Devi and eighty-year-old Sukurmani cast their votes in Jamshedpur.
In poll-related violence, one youth was killed in police firing and six including three policemen were injured in the Sisai constituency of Gumla district. The polling was cancelled at booth number 36 after the firing incident. The polling officials and security personnel left the polling centre with EVM machines after the incident of violence.
The Election Commission has sought a detailed report from the Gumla district administration. Maoist Guerrillas also set ablaze a polling bus in West Singhbhum district.
The fate of 260 candidates fighting in the 20 Assembly seats has been sealed in EVMs. Police sources said that more than 40,000 security forces were deployed for the second phase of voting which largely took place in Maoist-infested areas.
Of the 20 seats, 16 are reserved for the Schedule Tribe (ST) and one for the Schedule Caste (SC). Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting from the Jamshedpur East seat, where he is pitted against former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.
Also in the fray in this phase are Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and state BJP President Laxman Giluwa.
Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is fighting from the Tamar Assembly seat. Kundan Pahan is locked in a triangular fight with AJSU candidate Vikas Munda and former jailed Minister Gopal Krishna alias Raja Peter.
Of the 20 constituencies, the fight is triangular on at least seven Assembly seats and the rest of the seats will see direct fight between the BJP and Congress-JMM-RJD alliance.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)