RANCHI: Voting ended for 12 of the 17 assembly seats at 3 p.m. in the third phase of the polls with 57.96 per cent votes being cast on Thursday. The voting will end at 5 p.m. for the Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha assembly seats.
There are a total of 309 candidates including 32 females whose fate will be decided by 56,06,743 voters including 26,73,991 women and 95 third gender. These 17 seats are spread across Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro, Koderma and Saraikela. More than 35000 security personnel have been deployed to ensure peaceful polling.
Jharkahnd Governor Draupdi Murmu cast her vote at ATI Ranchi while AJSU president Sudesh Mahtyo cast his vote along with his wife at Silli. Jayant Sinha cast his vote in Hazaribagh.
A newly married couple cast their votes at polling booth number 225 of Hazaribagh. Priyanka was married on Wednesday night and she came with her husband for voting on Thursday morning. Maoist leader Maharaja Parmanik's parents cast their votes at Ichagarh.
In the third phase, the key candidates are three ministers -- CP Singh, Ramchandra Sahis and Neera Yadav, Former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi and former Deputy Chief Minister and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) president Sudesh Mahto.
Of the 17 seats, BJP, JMM and Congress had won 10, three and two seats respectively in the 2014 Assembly elections.
There is a direct flight on between the BJP, Congress and JMM candidates on seven seats. For the Silli seat, the fight is between AJSU president Sudesh Mahto and JMM sitting legislator Seema Devi. There is a triangular fight on six seats. For some seats, the fight is four-cornered or multi-cornered.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das have appealed to the voters to cast their votes.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)