Voting for the second of the five-phase assembly election in 20 seats in Jharkhand will be held on Saturday and the Election Commission has deployed polling and security personnel for free, fair and peaceful polling. Polling will be held between 7 am and 5 pm in Jamshedpur(East) and Jamshedpur(West) constituencies, while the voters in the rest 18 can exercise their franchise between 7 am and 3 pm, an EC release said.
Sixteen of the 20 constituencies going to the polls on Saturday are reserved for the scheduled tribe candidates and one for the scheduled caste, it said.
According to police, more than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed in the 20 seats spread across seven districts.
All preparations are in place to hold peaceful, impartial and transparent polling, Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said at a press conference here.
He said a total 6066 polling stations have been set up in the constituencies going for polls in the second phase. Webcasting facilities will be provided in 1662 polling stations.
Of the 6066 polling stations, 337 are model ones and 94 will be exclusively conducted by women, Choubey said.
A total 48,25,038 voters, including 23,93,437 female and 90 third gender voters, will decide the fate of 260 candidates. A total 29 women nominees and 73 independents are in the fray on Saturday, the EC sources said.
The assembly seats where polls will be held on Saturday are Baharagora, Ghatsila(ST), Potka(ST), Jugsalai (SC), Jamshedpur(East), Jamshedpur(West), Seraikela(ST), Chaibasa(ST), Majhgaon(ST), Jaganathpur(ST), Manoharpur(ST), Chakradharpur(ST), Kharsawan(ST), Tamar(ST), Torpa(ST), Khunti (ST), Mandar(ST), Sisai(ST), Simdega(ST) and Kolebira(ST), they said.
Among the prominent leaders whose fate will be sealed in the second phase of polling are Chief Minister Raghubar Das from Jamshedpur (East), where he will be challenged by his former cabinet colleague and independent candidate Saryu Roy.
Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon is contesting from Sisai on a BJP ticket, while BJP candidate and Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda is in the fray in Khunti. BJP state unit president Laxman Gilua is contesting from Chakradharpur.
The AJSU party candidate and Jharkhand Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis is in the fray in the Jugsalai seat.
Former Jharkhand PCC president Pradeep Kumar Balmachu, who has joined the AJSU party recently, is contesting from Ghatsila.
JD-U president Salkhan Murmu is contesting from Majhgaon and JVM-P candidate and former HRD minister Bandhu Tirkey is contesting from Mandar.
The BJP is contesting in all the 20 constituencies going to the polls in the second phase, while the opposition alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress are contesting in 14 and six seats respectively.
The RJD, which has got a total of seven seats according to the seat-sharing formula by the three opposition parties has no candidate in the second phase of polling.
AJSU party, an NDA ally which is contesting the assembly elections on its own for the first time since the creation of Jharkhand, has fielded candidates in 12 seats where polling will be held in this phase.
The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) has fielded candidates in all the 20 seats, while Bahujan Samaj Party is in the fray in 14 seats.
The Left party CPI is contesting in two seats, while CPI-M is contesting in one and the NCP in two constituencies.
Six candidates of All India Trinamool Congress are also in the fray in the second phase.
The first phase had concluded on November 30. The fifth and final phase of polling will be held on December 20 and counting will take place on December 23, the Election Commission sources said.