Ranchi: The campaigning for the second phase of Jharkhand assembly elections, covering 20 seats in seven districts of East Singhbhum, Seraikella-Kharsawan, West Singhbhum, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega, scheduled on Saturday (December 7) ended on Thursday (December 5).
The notification for the second phase of the assembly election was issued on November 11, and the last date for filing the nomination was November 18. Of the 20 seats, polling will take place from 7 am to 3 pm on 18 seats, and from 7 am to 5 pm on two seats of East Jamshedpur and West Jamshedpur.
PHASE-II: District/Assembly constituency (20 seats)
1. East Singhbhum: 44-Baharagora; 45-Ghatsila (ST); 46-Potka (ST); 47-Jugsalai (SC); 48-Jamshedpur East; 49-Jamshedpur West
2. Seraikella-Kharsawan: 51-Seraikella (ST); 57-Kharsawan (ST)
3.West Singhbhum: 52-Chaibasa (ST); 53-Majhgaon (ST); 54-Jaganathpur (ST); 55-Manoharpur (ST); 56-Chakradharpur (ST)
4. Ranchi: 58-Tamar (ST); 66-Mandar (ST)
5. Khunti: 59-Torpa (ST); 60-Khunti (ST)
6. Gumla: 67-Sisai (ST)
7. Simdega: 70-Simdega (ST); 71-Kolebira (ST)
Notably, there are a total of 260 candidates in the fray including 29 women. Sixteen of the 20 seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) and one for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates.
The highest number of candidates are in East Jamshedpur and West Jamshedpur with 20 on each seat, while Seraikela has the least number of seven candidates.
The upcoming phase is very crucial for the ruling BJP as out of 20 seats, 14 constituencies fall under the Kolhan division, which has been dominated by the JMM. If the results of 2014 Assembly polls are taken into consideration, Sibu Soren's party had won eight seats. The rest of the 6 constituencies come in the South Chottanagpur division.
The focus is on the Jamshedpur East seat from where Chief Minister Raghubar Das is facing tough fight against his old cabinet colleague Saryu Rai and Congress spokesperson Gaurabh Vallabh.
In the second phase, besides Chief Minister Raghubar Das, more than half of the candidates in the fray are VIPs. Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Urban Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis, former Cabinet Minister Saryu Rai and state BJP president Laxman Giluwa are in the fray.
These 20 seats of this phase are also known for in Maoist infested areas. Jailed Maoist commander Kunadan Pahan is contesting from the Tamar assembly seat.
The BJP has fielded its candidates on 20 seats which include 2 female candidates, the Congress has pitted 6 candidates, the AJSU 12 candidates including 2 women contenders, the JVM 20 candidates including 4 female candidates and the JMM 14 contenders including one woman candidate.
67% Congress candidates face criminal cases
Sixty-seven per cent Congress candidates contesting phase 2 of the Assembly polls have criminal cases against them, according to data compiled and analyzed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Among the major parties and those analyzed by the ADR, 67 per cent from the Congress, 50 per cent from JMM, 42 per cent from AJSU, 40 per cent each from the BJP and JVM-P have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
The data revealed that 26 per cent of the total candidates in the fray have criminal cases against them, while 17 per cent have declared serious criminal cases. When it comes to serious criminal charges, the Congress again tops the chart with 50 per cent candidates, followed by 36 per cent from the JMM, 25 per cent from the BJP, 25 per cent from JVM-P and just 8 per cent from AJSU.
Notably, some politicians also face serious charges that pertains to crime against women. Four candidates have declared cases related to crime against women. Of the four, one candidate has declared cases related to heinous crimes like rape.
Not just alleged rapists but alleged murderers are also contesting the second phase. Eight candidates have declared that they have cases under IPC Section-307 which pertain to attempt to murder. Meanwhile, four have declared cases of murder against them. There are three candidates who have conceded that they have earlier been convicted of crimes.
The Jharkhand Election Watch and ADR analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 260 candidates who are contesting the second phase of the Jharkhand Assembly elections.
(With Agency Inputs)