Jharkhand recorded 13.05 per cent voting till 9 am in the third phase of polling on Thursday. Polling for 17 Assembly seats commenced at 7 am amidst tight security arrangements.
While the polling exercise on five seats – Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Ramgarh and Barkatha will continue from 7 am to 5 pm, voters in the remaining constituencies can vote till 3 pm.
There are a total of 309 candidates including 32 female whose fate will be decided by 56,06,743 voters including 26,73,991 female and 95 third gender. These 17 seats are spread across Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Giridih, Bokaro, Koderma and Saraikela.
In the third phase, the key candidates are three ministers – CP Singh, Ramchandra Sahis and Neera Yadav, Former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi and former Deputy Chief Minister and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) president Sudesh Mahto.
Of the 17 seats, BJP, JMM and Congress had won 10, three and two seats respectively in 2014 Assembly elections.
About 40,000 polling personnel have been deputed to conduct smooth and peaceful voting, Jharkhand Chief Election Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day urged the people, especially the youth of the state, to go out and vote in large numbers
In the 81-seat assembly, Congress is contesting on 31 seats in alliance with RJD and JMM. The first two phases of the Jharkhand election concluded on November 30 and December 7 respectively.
The fourth and fifth phases of the election are scheduled on December 16 and 20 respectively.
The first phase of the Jharkhand assembly election concluded with a total voter turnout of 63 per cent in the 13 Assembly constituencies.
Jharkhand recorded 63.44 per cent vote, five per cent lowest than in 2014, in 20 Assembly seats amid few incidents of violence in which one person was killed in the second phase of the Assembly election.