Ranchi: After two phases of by and large
peaceful voting, 11 constituencies of Jharkhand will go to
polls on the third of the five-phased assembly elections on
Tuesday for which campaigning ended on Sunday with political
parties highlighting corruption and price rise as core issues.
A total of 25,41,042 voters are eligible to cast their
votes in Hazaribagh, Dhanwar, Bagodar, Jamua, Bermo, Bokaro,
Chandankiari, Shikaripara, Dumka, Jama and Jarmundi with the
first five constituencies affected by Naxal menace.
Out of total 237 candidates, including 115 Independents,
the maximum of 45 aspirants are in fray from Bokaro seat and
the least number of ten candidates are vying for Dhanwar
Elections for 40 out of the total 81 seats were completed
in the first two phases on November 25 and December 2.
The fourth phase is scheduled on December 12 and the
fifth and final round of elections will be held on December
18. Results will be announced on December 23.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi is
contesting on a Congress ticket from Dumka, while ex-ministers
Nalin Soren (JMM-Shikaripara) and Ravindra Rai (BJP-Dhanwar)
are the other prominent candidates in the fray.
AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Union Ministers
Virbhadra Singh, Digvijay Singh, Ajay Maken and Subodhkant
Sahay addressed a series of rallies campaigning for Congress
candidates, while Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitely,
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar threw their weight behind
the BJP/JDU nominees.
The Congress has entered into a truck with Babulal
Marandi`s JVM-P while the BJP, after a few hiccups, is
persisting with its alliance with the JD(U). The RJD, LJP and
the Left parties too have reached an understanding.
The multi-crore mining scam, in which former Chief
Minister Madhu Koda is one of the accused, was often referred
by political leaders in their election speeches even as the
BJP, the RJD, the LJP and the JMM made efforts to bring price
rise into the centre stage.
RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP President Ramvilas Paswan
raised the price rise issue with Prasad announcing `jail
bharo` agitation on the matter once the elections get over.
AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, during one of his
election rallies, charged the Opposition with shying away from
the issue of poverty while BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused the
Congress-led UPA government at the Centre of waging a "war on
the poor", claiming that inflation on food items stood at 18
JMM President Shibu Soren, whose party is contesting
alone, asked the RJD, the LJP and the JDU to concentrate on
Bihar politics while CPI (ML-Liberation) leader Dipankar
Bhattacharya and CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat too campaigned for
their respective candidates.
Bengal film stars and Trinamool Congress leaders Tapas
Paul and Shatabdi Roy toured Dumka constituency to canvass for