Ranchi: Polling in the 16 constituencies of Jharkhand on Saturday ended with 70.42 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise in the fifth and final phase of elections to the 81-member state assembly as the day passed-off peacefully.
The Election Commission in its statement said the figure might go up after an update.
Chief Electoral Officer P K Jajoria lauded the police personnel and election staff for successfully carrying out the elections in all the five phases.
He said free, fair and peaceful conduct of elections is a matter of pride for Jharkhand.
Jajoria also commended the voters for turning out in large numbers, saying that they have become aware of the value of vote and its impact on development.
Dumka Deputy Commissioner Harsh Mangla said the polling in all the constituencies under the district concluded peacefully.
The BJP and the JMM yesterday accused each other of beating up their respective activists in Dumka and other areas respectively on Thursday night with the saffron party registering an FIR against Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his brother Basant in connection with the incident.
A total of 36,90,069 electorate, including 17,84,486
women, were eligible to choose from 208 candidates, including 16 women nominees, for the 16 seats spread over 6 districts of Dumka, Godda, Sahebganj, Jamtara, Deoghar and Pakud in Santhal Pargana region.
The polling began at 7 am and ended at 3 pm.
Prominent among those in the fray for fifth phase polls are Chief Minister Hemant Soren from Dumka and Barhait, Assembly Speaker Shashank Sekhar Bhokta from Sarath and Rural Works Minister Lobin Hembrom from Borio.
Prominent Jharkhand politician and former Jharkhand Vikas Dal MP Suraj Mandal is challenging the speaker at Sarath.
Ruling JMM had won nine of the 16 seats in the 2009 assembly polls.
The EC said it had marked as many as 833 polling stations as hyper-sensitive and 1,496 sensitive and 291 polling stations were made available with web casting facilities.
A total of 22,240 polling personnel were deployed for the polling.
The previous four phase polling were held on November 25 (63.26 per cent voter turnout), December 2 (68.01 per cent), December 9 (63.96 per cent) and December 14 (64.63 per cent) with updated polling percentage, according to the EC.
A senior security official reportedly said that security deployment in Jharkhand was three to four times more than it was in the Lok Sabha elections.
Counting is slated for December 23.