Ranchi: Polling for the fifth and penultimate phase of the elections on 16 seats of the Santhal Pargana division including the prestigious seat of Dumka has commenced amid elaborate security arrangements where an estimated 40.05 lakh voters will decide the political future of a total of 237 candidates including 29 women.
The seats were polling is being held in the fifth phase included Rajmahal, Borio (ST), Barhet (ST), Littipada (ST), Pakur, Mahespur (ST), Shikaripada (ST), Nala, Jamtara, Dumka (ST), Jama (ST), Jarmundi, Sarath, Poriyahaat, Godda and Mahgama.
Among the 16 seats 7 are reserved for Schedule Tribes including Borio, Barhet, Littipada, Mahespur, Shikaripada, Dumka and Jama while others including Rajmahal, Pakur, Nala, Jamtara, Jarmundi, Mahgama, Poriyahaat, Sarath and Godda are in general category. Among the seats a maximum of 26 candidates are in Jarmundi seat while a minimum of 7 candidates are in the race on Poriyahaat seat.
A total of 40,03,183 voters are eligible to vote in this phase which included 20,49,140 male, 19,54,013 female and 30 third gender voters.
These 16 seats are spread across Sahebganj, Pakur, Dumka, Jamtara, Deoghar and Godda district.Among these seats voting will be held on five seats namely Borio, Barhet, Littipada, Mahespur and Shikaripada from 0700hrs to 1500hrs while in the remaining 11 seats voters will be able to vote between 0700hrs to 1500hrs.
Eligible voters will be able to cast their votes on 5389 polling booths out of which 269 are located in urban areas while 5120 were in the rural areas. The election commission in the fifth phase has provided webcasting facility on 1347 booths while the number of 'Sakhi Booths' is 133 and model polling booths were 249.
The commission has this time divided the polling booths in naxal and non-naxal areas on the basis of which 369 polling booths are hyper sensitive and another 208 were sensitive in naxal areas while in the non naxal area 1321 booths have been declared hyper sensitive and another 1765 booths have been declared sensitive.The number of normal booths in this phase is 5389.
Prominent candidates who are in the race on these seats included former Chief Minister and JMM's acting president Hemant Soren who is contesting from two seats of Dumka and Barhet, Welfare Minister Louis Marandi from Dumka, Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh from Sarath, Irfan Ansari from Jamtara and Pradeep Yadav from Poriyahaat.(UNI)