Ranchi: Over 29.44 percent voter turnout was recorded in Jharkhand till 11 am on Thursday where polling for the third of the five-phased Assembly elections in Jharkhand is being conducted amidst tight security.
The voter turnout is picking up as the day progresses as just a little over 13 percent polling was recorded till 9 am, according to the Election Commission.
The third phase of polling will decide the fate of legislators in 17 seats out of the total 81 assembly constituencies.
A total of 309 candidates, including 32 women, are contesting from 17 assembly seats. The constituencies, including two reserved for SC candidates and one ST candidate, in which voting is being held are spread over eight districts in the state.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Babulal Marandi cast his vote at an election booth in Giridih district and expressed confidence over his party’s win.
“I cast my vote here in the third phase for change. The people now want a change and therefore Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) will win big this time, the political pandits are also saying that there is a JVM undercurrent in the state. Out of the almost 50 seats which have seen polling till date, more than 30 will go to JVM,” Marandi told reporters, after casting his vote.
The assembly elections in Jharkhand became a multi-cornered fight with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) breaking off from BJP to fight the elections on its own and other regional parties such as JVM among others already in the competition.
Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have entered into a coalition to defeat BJP, which is seeking to return to power under the incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
The first phase of the election in the state took place on November 30 while the second round was held on December 7.
The fourth phase will be conducted on December 16, and the fifth and last phase on December 20.
The counting of votes will take place on December 23.
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