54 candidates in fray for 3 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand

PTI | Ranchi | Updated: 19-05-2024 16:53 IST | Created: 19-05-2024 16:53 IST
54 candidates in fray for 3 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand
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Voting in three Jharkhand Lok Sabha constituencies — Chatra, Koderma and Hazaribag — and by-poll in Gandey assembly seat will take place on Monday amid tight security, officials said.

Over 58.22 lakh electors including 28.29 lakh female voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the three Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, while 3.15 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in Gandey by-poll, an election official said.

As many as 54 candidates are in the fray for polls in three Lok Sabha seats, while 11 candidates including Kalpana Soren, wife of jailed former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, are contesting in the Gandey assembly by-election, the official said.

Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) K Ravi Kumar told PTI, ''In a bid to conduct free and fair polls, all preparations have almost been completed including the security arrangements.

The CEO said polling materials and poll parties were air dropped at 65 interior booths through choppers in Chatra and Latehar districts on Saturday. ''All polling parties in three constituencies reached their respective destinations by 3 pm today,'' he said.

Kumar said that they have also provided special training to poll officials to speed up the polling process so that long queues of voters could be reduced. Voting will start at 7 am and it will conclude at 5 pm on Monday, he said.

Altogether 6,705 polling stations have been set up across three parliamentary constituencies and the webcasting facility will be available in all polling stations, another election official said.

Of the total polling stations, 73 stations will be managed by women, 13 by persons with disabilities (PwD), 13 by youth and 36 will be unique booths.

Out of 54 candidates, 22 are contesting from the Chatra parliamentary seat, 15 from Koderma and 17 from Hazaribag Lok Sabha seat.

A direct fight is likely in all three Lok Sabha seats between the JMM-led ruling alliance and the BJP-led opposition in Jharkhand. An interesting fight is expected in the Koderma Lok Sabha seat where Union Minister and BJP candidate Annapurna Devi has locked horns with Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation nominee Vinod Singh, an MLA from Bagodar assembly constituency.

The Hazaribag seat is set for a direct fight between the BJP's Manish Jaiswal and Congress' Jai Prakash Bhai Patel, who recently switched from BJP. Jaiswal is an MLA from the Hazaribag assembly seat, while Patel is a legislator from the Mandu assembly segment.

Chatra is also heading for a direct contest between BJP's Kalicharan Singh, who was given ticket instead of sitting MP Sunil Kumar Singh, and Congress's KN Tripathi as INDIA bloc candidate.

Of the 54 candidates, 18 have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits while filing nomination papers.

Voting in the Gandey assembly seat, which fell vacant after the resignation of Sarfaraz Ahmad, who was recently elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed, will also be held on Monday.

The Gandey by-poll has become high-profile after Kalpana Soren filed her nomination as the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha candidate. BJP has fielded Dilip Kumar Verma against Kalpana.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in Giridih on May 14 in support of Union minister Annapurna Devi who is contesting from the Koderma Lok Sabha seat.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya also campaigned for the party's candidates.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge campaigned in Hazaribag and Latehar, which falls under the Chatra Lok Sabha constituency, for party candidates on May 13.

Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwai Yadav addressed several rallies for INDIA bloc nominees while Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren also campaigned for party candidates.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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