Ranchi, Dec 12: The high-pitched campaign for the fourth of the five-phase Jharkhand Assembly election involving 15 constituencies ended on Friday.
While in Dhanbad and Bokaro constituencies, the campaign ended at 5 PM, in the remaining seats it ended at 3 PM. The 15 constituencies are: Madhupur, Deogarh (SC), Bagodar, Jamua (SC), Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Bokaro, Chandankyari (SC), Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi and Baghmara.
Among the 15 there are several which are affected by Maoist violence. Out of the total 217 candidates, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Bahujan Samaj Party have fielded the maximum of 14 candidates each followed by the Jharkhand Vikas Party (Prajatantrik-13 candidates), CPI (three) CPI (M) and NCP in two seats each.
There are a total of 43,48,709 voters eligible to choose their candidates and the electorate boasts of as many as 2,23,626 voters in the 18/19 age group.
Political heavy weights, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, appealed to the electorate to vote for a majoirty to put Jharkhand on the track of development.
Three ministers - Mannan Mallick (Congress-Dhanbad), Suresh Paswan (RJD-Deogarh) and Haji Hussain Ansari (JMM-Madhupur)- are among 217 candidates, including 16 women, in the fray.
As many as 11 MLAs are also seeking re-election. Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, whose fate has already been sealed at Dhanwar seat in the third phase polling, is locked in a battle with his former 'disciple' Nirbhay Sahabadi of the BJP from Giridih seat. Sahabadi had won the seat on Marandis Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-Prajatantric) ticket in the 2009 Assembly poll before leaving Marandi to join the BJP.
As per their pre-poll tie-up, the BJP is contesting in 13 seats while its parther AJSU Party in two. Similarly allies Congress/RJD are contesting in eight and four respectively.
With 28 candidates, Bokaro has the maximum nominees while Jamua, Chandankyari and Tundi have the minimum of ten candidates each.