Home India Politics Over 50 percent polling in Jharkhand, two BSF men killed

Over 50 percent polling in Jharkhand, two BSF men killed


Ranchi : Jharkhand saw over 50 percent voting in the third phase of assembly polls Tuesday. Though the polling was largely peaceful, it was marred by Maoists killing two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Dumka district, officials said.

The two BSF personnel were killed when Maoist guerrillas opened fire in Dumka.

“Maoist rebels started indiscriminate firing near Sarsanda village that comes within the Shikaripara assembly constituency in Dumka. While one jawan died immediately, another died on way to hospital,” V.H. Deshmukh, Jharkhand police spokesperson, told IANS.

The third phase of polling started at 7 a.m. on a dull note but it gained momentum after about three hours. The voting time has been advanced from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. due to security reasons.

According to a Jharkhand election commission official, an estimated 50-52 percent polling has been registered in Tuesday’s poll.

The balloting will decide the fate of five former ministers, including former deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi and Hemant Soren, son of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren.

In Dumka, a police complaint was lodged against Hemant Soren for instigating supporters to attack the Congress nominee’s office.

Security had been beefed up for the voting as half of the 11 assembly constituencies that went to the polls are considered Maoist strongholds. According to a Jharkhand Election Commission official, the fate of 273 candidates will be decided Tuesday by 2,541,042 voters.

“The election was by and large peaceful barring the one incident,” said Deshmukh.

The 11 assembly seats where polling took place are Bermo, Bokaro, Chankyarai, Dhanwar, Bagodar, Jamua, Hazaribagh, Shikaripara, Dumka, Jarmundi and Jama.

The other key candidates in the fray are Shailendra Mahto of JMM and former minister Harinayan Rai, who is in jail.

In the first and second phases Nov 25 and Dec 2, a total of 40 constituencies saw polling. The five-phased polling for 81 seats ends Dec 18 and votes will be counted Dec 23.