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Second phase of polling begins in 20 Jharkhand seats

RANCHI: The second phase of polling began Saturday morning on 20 constituencies in Jharkhand, which votes in five phases to elect 81 members of the legislative assembly.
The voting commenced at 7 am, amidst a tight security arrangement.
While the voting exercise in 18 seats will end at 3 pm, voters in Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West) constituencies can vote till 5 pm, an Election Commission release said.
Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said, "Several of the constituencies going for this phase of polling are Naxal-affected. So, armed police have been deployed as a part of security measures."
Out of a total of 6,066 polling stations, 949 have been declared 'critical' and 762 sensitive' in Naxal-affected areas, he said.
The CEO said that 101 polling stations have been relocated due to security reasons and free transport facility has been arranged for voters to reach these stations to exercise their franchise.
A total 1,016 polling stations are located in towns and cities while 5,050 are in rural areas.
Webcasting facilities has been made available at 1,662 polling stations, the CEO said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted urging voters to come out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.
Out of the total polling stations, there are 337 model polling stations and 94 polling stations will be overseen by women polling personnel, Choubey said.
A total 48,25,038 voters, including 23,93,437 female and 90 third gender voters, are eligible to vote to decide the fate of 260 candidates, including 29 women nominees and 73 independents, he said.
According to police sources, more than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed on the 20 seats spread across seven districts.
The assembly segments going for polls are: Baharagora, Ghatsila (ST), Potka (ST), Jugsalai (SC), Jamshedpur (East), Jamshedpur (West), Seraikela (ST), Chaibasa (ST), Majhgaon (ST), Jaganathpur (ST), Manoharpur (ST), Chakradharpur (ST), Kharsawan (ST), Tamar (ST), Torpa (ST), Khunti (ST), Mandar (ST), Sisai (ST), Simdega (ST) and Kolebira (ST).
BJP leader and Chief Minister Raghubar Das is facing challenge from his former cabinet colleague and independent candidate Saryu Roy from Jamshedpur (East) seat.
Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon is contesting from Sisai on a BJP ticket, while BJP candidate and Rural Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda is contesting from Khunti.
The BJP's state unit president Laxman Gilua, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Singhbhum seat, is contesting from Chakradharpur.
The AJSU party candidate and Jharkhand Water Resources Minister Ramchandra Sahis is contesting from Jugsalai.
Former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Pradeep Kumar Balmachu, who joined the AJSU party recently, is contesting from Ghatsila.
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