JHARKHAND recorded around 62 per cent voting for 17 seats which went to the polls in the third phase of Assembly elections on Thursday. According to Election Commission data, the State recorded 61.93 per cent polling in the third phase. The highest polling was recorded in Silli at 76.98 per cent, while the lowest was in Ranchi at 49.1 per cent. The voting began at 7 am and ended at 3 pm on 12 seats and on five seats -- Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha -- polling ended at 5 pm.
The fate of 309 candidates, including 32 females, will be decided by 56,06,743 voters in the third phase. The 17 seats are spread across Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro, Koderma and Saraikela. More than 35,000 security personnel have were deployed to ensure peaceful polling. Jharkhand Governor Draupdi Murmu cast her vote at ATI Ranchi, while All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party President Sudesh Mahto cast his vote along with his wife at Silli. Former Union Minister and BJP MP Jayant Sinha cast his vote in Hazaribagh. Former India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also cast his vote along with his family members in his hometown Ranchi.
A newly-married couple cast their votes at a polling booth in Hazaribagh. After getting married on Wednesday night, the bride and the groom arrived at the polling booth to cast their vote on Thursday morning. Maoist leader Maharaja Parmanik’s parents cast their votes at Ichagarh. In the third phase, the key candidates include three sitting Ministers, C P 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 fight between the BJP, the Congress and the JMM on seven seats. In Silli, the fight is between AJSU President Sudesh Mahto and sitting JMM legislator Seema Devi. There is a triangular fight on six seats.