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With poll officials air-dropped in Maoist-hit Singhbhum, voting begins in Jharkhand

The fortunes of 45 candidates, including Union Minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda, are tied up in today's poll, in which the highest number of 15 contestants are in Lohardaga, followed by Singhbhum (14), Palamu (9), and Khunti (7).

News Arena Network - Ranchi - UPDATED: May 12, 2024, 09:55 PM - 3 mins read

The fortunes of 45 candidates, including Union Minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda, are tied up in today's poll, in which the highest number of 15 contestants are in Lohardaga, followed by Singhbhum (14), Palamu (9), and Khunti (7).

With poll officials air-dropped in Maoist-hit Singhbhum, voting begins in Jharkhand

Voting began at 7 am in Jharkhand's four Lok Sabha seats amid tight security. (Image: PTI/FILES for representation).


With  polling parties and material air-dropped in 126 polling stations in Maoist-affected Singhbhum,  voting started at 7 am in the Jharkhand Lok Sabha constituency which also included the seats of Lohardaga, Khunti and Palamu, poll officials said on Monday, May 13.

 

Voting will continue till 5 pm.

 

The fate of 45 candidates, including Union Minister and BJP Arjun Munda's fortunes are tied up in today's poll, in which the highest number of 15 contestants are in Lohardaga, followed by Singhbhum (14), Palamu (9), and Khunti (7).

 

This is the first phase of elections in the eastern state where Singhbum, Lohardaga and Khunti are ST-reserved and Palamu is reserved for Scheduled Castes.

 

Over 64.37 lakh electors, including 32.07 lakh women and 42 persons belonging to the third gender, are eligible to exercise their franchise.

 

To ensure transparency and security, 15,000 4D cameras have been installed across all constituencies for webcasting, PTI quoted Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) K Ravi Kumar as saying.

 

A total of 30,380 polling officials have been deployed across 7,595 booths, he added.

 

"Polling parties and materials were air dropped in remote areas of Maoist-hit Singhbhum,” West Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer Kuldeep Chaudhary said.

 

Singhbhum, which includes Saranda, Asia's densest Sal forest, is among the worst Maoist-affected areas in the country. BJP's Geeta Kora, who won the seat on a Congress ticket in 2019, faces competition from INDIA bloc's Joba Manjhi.

 

In Khunti, Union minister and BJP nominee Arjun Munda competes directly against INDIA bloc's Kalicharan Munda. The saffron party leader had secured a narrow victory in the seat in 2019.

 

Lohardaga might witness a triangular contest, with JMM's Bishunpur MLA Chamra Linda entering the fray as an Independent candidate, challenging BJP's Samir Oraon and INDIA bloc's Sukhdeo Bhagat. The Congress was allocated this seat under the JMM-led ruling alliance's seat-sharing agreement.

 

Palamu presents a direct contest between BJP's sitting MP Vishnu Dayal Ram and RJD's Mamta Bhuiyan as an INDIA bloc candidate.

 

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, BJP had secured 11 seats and its ally AJSU Party one, while Congress and JMM won one seat each.

 

The intense campaigning leading up to the first phase of polls witnessed heated exchanges between main rivals on issues such as corruption, reservation, Constitution, and electoral promises. 

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