Campaigning for 2nd phase poll comes to an end in Jharkhand

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Ranchi, Nov 30: Campaigning ended on Sunday for the second phase of Jharkhand polls which saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi addressing rallies to woo the voters, who will cast ballot in 20 Assembly seats on December 2.

Former Chief Ministers Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda are in the fray among 223 candidates, including 35 women.

File photo

While campaigning ended at 5 pm at Jamshedpur (East) and Jamshedpur (West) constituencies, it ended at 3 pm in 18 other seats going for polls, Election Commission sources said here. With 16 out of the 20 constituencies reserved for tribals, Prime Minister Modi and Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi took up the tribal issue.

During his campaigning, Modi appealed to the electorate to ensure that BJP gets the majority to "free the state from political instability".

Modi termed as "lies" Rahul Gandhi's allegations that the BJP was trying to amend acts that protects tribal land, days after the Congress leader alleged that efforts were on to change acts protecting such land.

In her election speeches, AICC president Sonia Gandhi claimed that a majority of tribals from Gujarat-- Modi's home state-- had migrated as they had lost land to "capitalists".

Polling for 13 out of the 81 Assembly had taken place on November 25. Altogether 18 sitting MLAs, including ministers and BJP vice-president and former deputy chief minister Raghuvar Das (Jamshedpur-East) are seeking re-election.

The BJP is contesting in 18 seats in this phase, leaving two - Tamar and Jugsalai - for its pre-poll alliance partner Ajsu party. The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-Prajatantrik) and Trinamool Congress are contesting after striking a pre-poll alliance with JVM, fielding candidates in 18 seats, conceding two seats for TMC in this phase.

The BJP, Congress and JVM have fielded four women candidates each. Despite running the government after snapping ties, the JMM and Congress are contesting against each other in all the 20 constituencies.

Incumbent Agriculture Minister Banna Gupta (Jamshedpur - West), HRD Minister Geetashree Oraon (Sisai), both from the Congress, and Industry Minister Champai Soren (Seraikella) are also trying their luck for re-election.

In the 20 seats that are going to polls in the second phase, BJP had eight, JMM five, Congress two and rest were held by Independent and other parties. Baharagora seat is vacant.

PTI 

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