An estimated 64.12 per cent votes were cast in 13 constituencies of Jharkhand Assembly where polling was held in the first phase on Saturday, Election Commission officials said.
The 13 constituencies are in six Maoist-hit districts and polling was held amidst tight security.
IMAGE: Women show their inked fingers outside a polling station during the 1st phase of Jharkhand Assembly polls, in Palamu district. Photograph: PTI Photo
The voting was by and large peaceful and ended at 3 pm, the EC officials said.
A total of 37,83,055 electorate, including 18,01,356 women and five third-gender voters exercised their franchise during the day to elect their representatives from among 189 candidates, including 15 women nominees.
Polling on Saturday was held in Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur constituencies.
IMAGE: Women show their identity cards as they in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections in Lohardaga district. Photograph: PTI Photo
The Bhawanathpur constituency has the maximum of 28 contestants, while Chatra has the lowest with nine.
Jharkhand Additional Director General of Police, Murari Lal Meena said LWEs exploded a bomb near a culvert in Bishnupur assembly constituency in the forests of Gumla district but there was no casualty or damage.
Meena said a total of 1,097 polling stations were marked as hypersensitive and 461 polling stations as sensitive.
IMAGE: Women in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections at Bhandra block in Lohardaga district. Photograph: PTI Photo
The BJP, which is seeking a second straight win under the leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das, contested from
12 seats in the first phase and supported an Independent candidate. The All Jharkhand Students Union party, which is an NDA ally contested on its own.
The opposition alliance of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Congress and RJD were also in the fray in the seats.
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Congress contested in six seats, JMM in four and the RJD in three constituencies in the first phase.
The other parties which contested in the first phase were Babulal Marandi’s Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), Janata Dal-United and the Left parties.
IMAGE: A security jawan stands guard as people wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station. Photograph: PTI Photo
Key candidates in the fray were BJP nominee and state Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi and JPCC president Rameshwar Oraon, who is taking on his predecessor Sukhdeo Bhagat, who has joined the BJP.
IMAGE: ITBP personnel escorts a differently-abled woman at a polling station to cast her vote, during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections in Gumla. Photograph: ANI Photo
The next four phases of polling for the 81-member assembly will be held on December 7, 12, 16 and 20.
Counting is scheduled on December 23.
IMAGE: JMM candidate Baiknath Ram shows his inked-finger after casting vote at a polling station during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections, in Maoist-hit Latehar district. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: An elderly woman-voter leaves as people wait in queues to cast their votes at a polling station during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections in Maoist-affected Lohardaga district. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: A physically challenged voter leaves after casting vote at a polling station during the first phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections, in Maoist-hit Latehar district. Photograph: PTI Photo
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