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Jharkhand records 21 percent voting till noon

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 13:40

Ranchi: Maoist guerrillas killed one security personnel in Jharkhand`s Giridih district Wednesday during the second phase of Assembly elections which saw 21 percent voting till noon, an official said.

The state Election Commission said Koderma constituency registered the highest percentage of voting at 30 percent.

Polling began at 7 am for 14 Assembly seats. But in seven booths, voting started late due to problems with the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Meanwhile, maoist guerrillas targeted a polling team killing one personnel near Teliabahiyar village, about 190 km from here.

"Maoist rebels triggered an IED (improvised explosive device) blast when polling team members were going to the polling booth around 5 am. In the blast, one CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel has been killed. Poll team members were going on foot when the blast took place," Jharkhand police spokesperson VH Deshmukh told a news agency.

Due to security reasons, the polling hours were shifted to 7 am-3 pm.

Four helicopters of the Indian Air Force and the Border Security Force have been pressed into service for surveillance. Around 35,000 security personnel, including paratroopers, have also been deployed.

There are 259 candidates in the fray in the second phase.

The fate of six former ministers, including of All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) president and former state home minister Sudesh Mahto, will be decided in this round of polling.

Another key candidate is Masi Charan Munda, 34, a jailed Maoist who is contesting from Khuti constituency on a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) ticket.

The five-phased elections will end on December 18 and the counting takes place December 23.


First Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 13:40
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