The canvassing for the first phase of Jharkhand election, covering 13 assembly seats, has stopped today, as the polling is scheduled on Saturday (November 30). The Election Commission of India also put a ban on Exit Poll for the period between 7 am on 30th November and 5.30 pm on 20th December.
During this period, the EC said, "conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand, 2019."
The EC further stated that displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in the respective polling areas in each phase of the election.
Of the 13 assembly seats of the first phase, the BJP and the Gathbandhan candidates are reportedly in a direct fight in Garhwa, Daltonganj, Vishrampur, Panki, Manika, Gumla and Bishunpur constituencies, while the party rebels are posing a challenge in Bhavanathpur, Latehar, and Chatra seats.
Reports coming in say that AJSU candidates are playing spoilsport in Lohardaga, Chhatarpur and Hussainabad seats, making the contest triangular. The BJP is also facing a tough time in Chatra seat, where it fielded Janardan Paswan, who switched to the party from the RJD just ahead of polls.
Addressing an election rally in Chatra on the last day of the first phase of election, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that Jharkhand did not come to existence as long as there was Congress government at the Centre and was formed only when BJP came into power.
Amit Shah said "In the last five years itself, the BJP government has set up industries in Jharkhand, laid a network of roads, gave houses to the poor, provided toilets, gave assistance to farmers and gave many schemes to the people of Jharkhand."
In the last assembly election, the BJP had won six of these 13 seats, but now with the Congress-RJD-JMM alliance posing a tough fight, the ruling party is facing a dificult situation to retain the last tally.
As many as 190 candidates are in the fray for the 13 assembly seats in the Palamu, Latehar, Chatra, Lohardra and Gumla districts.
The 81-member Jharkhand assembly will go to polls in five phases between November 30 and December 20. The votes will be counted on December 23.