Polling is underway for the second phase of assembly elections in Jharkhand. Voting is taking place for 20 constituencies spread over seven districts. Polling began at 7 this morning. It will end at 3 this afternoon in 18 constituencies, while voters in Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West) seats can exercise their franchise till 5 PM. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for smooth conduct of polls.
More than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling. Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said that webcasting facilities will be provided at 1662 polling stations. 260 candidates including 29 women are in the fray in this phase.
Prominent among them are Chief Minister Raghubar Das, Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon, Rural Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda, Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis and BJP state unit president Laxman Gilua. Fate of AJSU candidate Pradeep Kumar Balmachu, JD-U president Salkhan Murmu and Bandhu Tirkey of JVM-P will also be decided today.