Ranchi:Amid elaborate security arrangements polling has commenced for the second phase of elections on 20 seats of the state including the most hyped Jamshedpur East from where Chief Minister Raghubar Das is battling his former cabinet colleague Saryu Rai.
An estimated 48.25 lakh voters will decide the fate of 260 candidates who are in the fray on these seats.
The seats were polls will be held in this phase included Behragora, Ghatshila (ST), Potka (ST), Jugsalai (SC), Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West, Saraikela (ST), Kharsawan (ST), Manjhgaon (ST), Jaggananthpur (ST), Manoharpur (ST), Chakardharpur (ST), Tamar (ST), Mandar (ST), Torpa (ST), Khunti (ST), Sisai (ST), Simdega (ST) and Kolibera (ST). These 20 seats are spread across 7 districts including Ranchi Simdega Khunti Gumla East Singhbhum West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan.
The total number of eligible voters who are eligible to vote in this phase is 48,250,38 which include 24,31,511 male voters 23,93,437 female voters and 90 third gender voters. A total of 260 candidates are in the race for these 20 seats including 29 women out of which a maximum of 20 candidates were in each on Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West Seats and a minimum of 7 candidates were on the Saraikela seat.
Voting on 18 out of these 20 seats will be held from 0700hrs to 1500hrs where as in Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West which are in the urban areas and free from the shadows of Left Wing Extremism voting will be held from 0700hts to 1700hrs. Eligible voters will be able to cast their votes on 6066 booths out of which 5050 are located in rural areas and another 1016 in urban areas.
The election commission has made provision of webcasting facility on 1612 booths while the number of 'Sakhi Booths' was 94 and model polling booths were 337. A total of 101 booths have been relocated in this phase.
The commission has this time divided the polling booths in naxal and non-naxal areas on the basis of which 949 polling stations were hyper sensitive and another 762 were sensitive in naxal areas while in the non naxal area 762 booths have been declared hyper sensitive and another 2005 booths have been declared sensitive.
Nearly 30,000 people have been deployed on poll duty whereas at all the polling booths adequate number of security personnel have been deployed. An air ambulance has been also positioned at Jamshedpur.
Prominent candidates whose future will be decided in this phase include Chief Minister Raghubar Das, former cabinet minister Saryu Rai and Congress nominee Gourav Vallabh, Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Rural Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources and Sanitation Minister Ramchandra Sahis, State BJP president Laxman Giluwa and former JPCC chief Pradeep Balmuchu from Ghatshila.(UNI)