Jharkhand panchayat polls: 67 percent ballot in second phase (Second Lead)

Monday, December 6, 2010

RANCHI - The second phase of Jharkhand’s maiden panchayat polls - the first since the state was carved out 10 years ago - concluded Monday with 67.04 percent votes cast, an official said. The polling process was largely peaceful, barring a few incidents of violence.

According to available reports, 67.04 percent polling has taken place in the second phase. The polling was by and large peaceful, Jharkhand Election Commission secretary M.K. Jha told IANS.

The highest polling was recorded in Deoghar at 77 percent and the lowest in Dumka at 45 percent. Maoist-affected Giridih district recorded 75 percent votes while 62 percent electorate cast its votes in Ranchi.

In Chattarpur block of Palamau, the rebels tried to disrupt polling 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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