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Jharkhand Assembly polls: Nearly 60 per cent polling in 14 out of 17 seats

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Ranchi (Dec. 09, 2014): Nearly 60 per cent of polling has been recorded in 14 of the 17 Assembly constituencies spread across eight districts of Jharkhand where voting was held today in the third of the five-phase elections.

Barring Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke, polling for the 14 Assembly constituencies ended at 3 PM, officials said, adding voting for the three constituencies would end at 5 PM.

59.31 per cent polling was recorded in the 14 Assembly constituencies, they said.

Polling was by and large incident-free amid tight security arrangements where 1,957 booths were marked as highly sensitive and 1,477 as sensitive booths, they said.

An encounter between the Maoists and security forces was reported ahead of polling in the Kenduadih jungle under Ganwa police station limits of Giridih district, where two can-bombs were recovered during a search operation launched after the encounter, the police said.

While Silli constituency recorded the highest 74.77 per cent of polling, Khijri recorded the lowest at 56.79 per cent.

EC sources said Koderma Assembly segment recorded 64.80 per cent of polling, followed by Barkatha (65.10 pc), Barhi (65.27 pc), Barkagaon (60.25 pc), Mandu (60.07 pc), Hazaribagh (58.50 pc), Simaria (60.79 pc), Dhanwar (63.51 pc), Gomia (66.12 pc), Bermo (60.23 pc), Ichagarh (71 pc) and Ramgarh (63 pc).

Till 3 PM, Ranchi recorded a turnout of 40.60 per cent, Hatia 44.84 per cent and Kanke 49.50 per cent.

Villagers in three booths of Simaria constituency protested for about 15 minutes demanding basic amenities such as water, road and electricity, officials said adding, voters of booth numbers 147, 148 and 149, exercised their franchise after district officials assured to look into their grievances.

Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed and Chief Minister Hemant Soren cast their votes for Ranchi and Hatia Assembly segments.

Former chief minister Babulal Marandi(Dhanwar), ex - Assembly Speaker C P Singh (Ranchi) and three incumbent ministers - Finance Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh (Bermo), Water Resources Minister Annapurna Devi (Kodarma) and Drinking & Sanitation Minister Jaiprakash Bhai Patel (Mandu) are among the 289 candidates who are in the fray today.

Eight MLAs are seeking re-election in this phase. Polling for 33 of the 81 seats was held on November 25 and December 2, which registered 61.92 per cent and 64.68 per cent turnout respectively.