Ranchi: Brisk polling is being registered in the first phase of the five-phase election to the Jharkhand Assembly, where in the first four hours, poll panel officials said 27.41 per cent polling was completed, said an official of election commission.
The highest polling has been witnessed at Bhavanathpur Assembly seat with 30.38 per cent and lowest at Lohardagga with 21.27 per cent.
Polling began at 7am for 13 seats of Jharkhand Assembly polls, said officials.
In the first phase, polling is taking place in Maoist affected area amid heavy security arrangements. The polling will continue till 3pm.
Minor clashes have been reported between BJP and Congress workers at Daltanganj assembly seat.
The total number of eligible voters are 3,778,963 which include 1,979,991 male, 1,798,966 women voters and five from the third gender.
A total of 189 candidates are in the race, including 15 women, out of which a maximum of 28 candidates were in Bhawnathpur Seat and a minimum of nine were fighting from the Chatra seat.
According to election commission official there are 4,892 booths out of which 4,585 are located in rural areas and 307 in urban areas.
In the first phase webcasting facility has been provided at 1,262 booths while the number of ‘Sakhi Booths’ are 121 and model polling booths 417.
This time polling booths have been divided into Maoist and non-Maoist areas on the basis of which 1,097 polling stations are hyper sensitive and 461 are sensitive.
Heavy security arrangements have been made for peaceful polling. Helicopters are being used for airlifting and dropping of the poll officials in difficult terrain and Maoist hit areas.
The important candidates, whose fate will be decided in first phase polling, include Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi, Congress state chief Rameshwar Oraon and former Minister and BJP candidate Bhanu Pratap Shahi.
BJP is fighting on 12 seats and supporting Independent on one seat. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress, RJD fighting poll in alliance have fielded candidates on four, six and three seats respectively.
On nine seats the fight is directly between BJP and JMM, Congress and RJD alliance.
The fight is triangular on three seats — one being Lohardagga, where the fight is between Congress state president Rameshwar Oraon, former state Congress president sitting legislator and now BJP candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat and All Jharkhand Students Union candidate Niru Bhagat.
For the Hussainabad Assembly seat the fight is four-cornered. Here former minister and NCP candidate Kamlesh is drawing attention of the voters. He was minister in the Madhu Koda Cabinet and went to jail in different scam cases.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raghubar Das has appealed to voters to vote in large numbers.