RANCHI: As many as 48 lakh voters are expected to exercise their franchise in the fourth phase of Jharkhand assembly election on Monday for 15 assembly seats with 221 candidates testing their luck in a five-phased state election.
The voters will decide the fate of 221 candidates, including 22 women and third gender. Election officials have refrained from disclosing the name of the third gender contestant to avoid “unnecessary” promotion of the candidate a day before the election.
The constituencies where the fourth phase of election will be held are Madhupur, Deoghar, Bagodar, Jamua, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Bokaro, Chandankayari, Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi, and Baghmara where the total number of voters is 47,85,009, of which 25,40,794 are male voters and 22,44,134 are female voters. The number of specially-abled voters is 66,321 and the total number of voters above the age of 80 is 34,106.
“Like the previous phases, there are few pockets in this phase which are affected by Left-Wing Extremism (LWE). Of a total of 6,101 polling stations across 15 constituencies, 587 stations are hyper-LWE-sensitive and 405 are LWE-sensitive,” said Vinay Kumar Choubey, chief electoral officer (CEO).
“Polling officials of 75 polling stations falling under LWE-affected areas have been provided heli-dropping facility, while officials of 136 polling stations have been taken to their cluster on Saturday,” added Choubey.
Out of the total 221 candidates contesting in the fourth phase, the maximum number of 25 candidates are fighting from Bokaro seat and the lowest of eight candidates are contesting for Nirsa seat.
Apart from this, 13 candidates are from Madhupur, 13 from Deoghar, 12 from Bagodar, 14 from Jamua, 12 from Gandey, 12 from Giridih, 15 from Dumri, 15 from Chandankyari, 16 from Sindri, 22 from Dhanbad, 17 in Jharia, and 13 candidates from Tundi are in the fray. There are 15 candidates in the fray from Baghmara.
Polling will begin at 7 am in Jamua, Bagodar, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi seats and will conclude at 3 pm, while in the remaining seats it will be concluded by 5 pm.
The phase is crucial for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as it had won 11 seats of the 15 in the 2014 assembly polls. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), AJSU Party, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC) shared one seat each in the last assembly polls.
Jharia assembly seat, however, has turned interesting after sisters-in-law Ragini Singh of BJP and Purnima Singh of Congress locking horns against each other.
The seat will also see an interesting fight between chacha-bhatija (uncle and nephew). AJSU candidate Awadesh Yadav is contesting against his uncle Yogendra Yadav, a JVM-P candidate, from the seat.
Out of 221 candidates in the fray, 75 (34%) candidates have declared criminal cases against them and as many as 48 (22%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases against them.
Among the major parties, 8 (53%) out of 15 candidates analysed from BJP, 7 (47%) out of 15 candidates analysed from JVM(P), 4 (31%) out of 13 candidates analysed from BSP, and 6 (50%) out of 12 candidates analysed from AJSU party have declared criminal cases against them in their affidavits.
According to the party-wise crorepati candidates among major parties, 12 (80%) out of 15 candidates analysed from BJP, 9 (60%) out of 15 candidates analysed from JVM(P), 6 (75%) out of 8 candidates analysed from JMM, 5(42%) out of 12 candidates analysed from AJSU Party, and 3(50%) out of 6 candidates from INC have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.