Jharkhand panchayat polls: 60 percent ballot in second phase

Monday, December 6, 2010

RANCHI - The second phase of Jharkhand’s maiden panchayat polls concluded Monday with around 60 percent votes cast, an official said. The polling process was largely peaceful, barring few incidents of violence.

“According to initial reports, 55-60 percent polling has taken place in the second phase. At a few places, the Maoists tried to disrupt polling,” an Election Commission official told IANS.

Polling percentage in Giridih district was recorded at around 75 percent while 62 percent electorate cast their votes in Ranchi.

In Chattarpur block of Palamau, the rebels tried to disrupt polling at least at six booths. They poured ink on the ballot papers at booths in Deoghar and Ramgarh.

Polling began at 7 a.m. amid tight security and concluded at 3 p.m.

“Voter turnout was good despite the boycott call by Maoists. More than 700 companies of paramilitary troopers and state police were deployed and three helicopters were doing air surveillance to ensure peaceful polling,” the official said.

In the second phase, voting took place for 1,292 panchayats of 71 blocks of 23 districts. A total of 47,406 candidates were in the fray whose fate has been sealed in ballot boxes by 4,292,969 voters.

The five-phase panchayat elections began Nov 27.

The last panchayat polls were held in 1979 when Jharkhand was part of Bihar. The polls were delayed in Jharkhand, which was carved from Bihar Nov 15, 2000, due to a legal battle over reservations for tribals.

Filed under: Politics

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