Intense Battle at Jharkhand's Polls: High Stakes and Tight Security

Voting for three Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand commenced amid tight security. With 52 candidates contesting and over 53 lakh voters, including first-time and elderly voters, this final phase is crucial. The BJP and INDIA bloc face off in Dumka, Godda, and Rajmahal. Preparations are in place for a smooth electoral process.


PTI | Ranchi | Updated: 01-06-2024 07:17 IST | Created: 01-06-2024 07:17 IST
Intense Battle at Jharkhand's Polls: High Stakes and Tight Security
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Voting for three Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand commenced on Saturday, amid tight security, officials said.

Polling began at 7 am in Dumka, Rajmahal, and Godda, and will continue till 5 pm.

A total of 52 candidates, including eight women, are contesting in this final phase, the state's fourth and the seventh nationwide. Nineteen candidates each are competing in Dumka and Godda, while Rajmahal has 14 contestants.

Approximately 53.23 lakh voters are eligible to cast their ballots in these three constituencies, with Godda having the highest number of voters at 20.28 lakh, and Dumka the lowest at 15.91 lakh. Over two lakh are first-time voters in the 18-19 age group, while 439 are aged over 100 years.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) K Ravi Kumar said preparations are in place for free and fair polls, including sealing the borders with neighboring Bihar and West Bengal, where polls are also taking place. Arrangements have been made to transport elderly citizens and persons with disabilities (PwDs) to and from the polling booths, he added. Since the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct, illegal items and cash worth approximately Rs 135 crore have been seized in the state.

Of the 6,258 total booths, 5,769 are in rural areas. Two hundred forty-one booths will be managed by women, 11 by the youth, and 7 by PwDs. Additionally, there are 18 unique booths showcasing the specialties of their respective areas.

All eyes are on Dumka seat where BJP's Sita Soren, sister-in-law of jailed former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, is contesting against INDIA bloc's Nalin Soren. Sita, a former three-term JMM legislator, joined BJP just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, citing 'neglect' and 'isolation' by JMM after the death of her husband Durga Soren in 2009.

In Godda, BJP sitting MP Nishikant Dubey is contesting against INDIA bloc's Pradip Yadav. The Rajmahal seat is expected to witness an interesting fight as JMM's Borio legislator Lobin Hembrom is contesting as an Independent against sitting JMM MP Vijay Hansdak. The BJP has fielded its former state president Tala Marandi for the seat.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won the Dumka and Godda seats, while the JMM secured the Rajmahal seat. The final phase of elections saw intense campaigning, including by PM Narendra Modi, BJP president JP Nadda, Jharkhand CM Champai Soren, and JMM leader Kalpana Soren.

Of the 14 Lok Sabha seats, BJP won 11 constituencies, while AJSU Party, Congress, and JMM won one seat each in the 2019 polls.PT NAM MNB BDC

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

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