Polling has begun for the fourth phase of assembly elections in Jharkhand. Voting is taking place for 15 constituencies spread over four districts of Dhanbad, Deoghar, Giridih and Bokaro in this phase. Polling in the five Naxal-affected constituencies of Bagodar, Jamua, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi will be held between 7 AM and 3 PM. In the remaining 10 seats, voting will continue till 5 in the evening. A total of 221 candidates including 22 women are in the fray for this phase. Fate of two Jharkhand ministers – Raj Paliwar and Amar Bauri, 7 former ministers and 14 sitting MLAs will be decided in this phase.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling. Jawans of central para military forces have been deployed at all booths. Helicopters have been pressed into service for air patrolling. Borders with Bihar and West Bengal have been sealed to check infiltration of anti-social elements. Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said, there will be online monitoring of 2,122 polling booths out of a total of over 6,100. Mr Choubey said, for the first time in country, people over 80 years and Divyang voters have exercised their franchise through postal ballot.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the people to exercise their franchise in large numbers in the fourth phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections. In a tweet, Mr Modi urged the voters to participate in the festival of democracy.