Ranchi, Dec 18: Campaigning ended on Thursday for the fifth and final phase polling for 16 Assembly constituencies in Jharkhand which will go the polls on December 20. "Polling will begin at 7 AM and end at 3 PM in all 16 constituencies," an Election Commission official today said.
Altogether 208 candidates, including 16 women are testing their luck in this phase of polling, an EC release said.
A total of 36,90,069 including 17,84,486 women voters will cast their votes in this round of the elections, with 2,31,148 voters in the age group of 18-19 years. Out of the 16 seats, nine are general, while seven are reserved for tribals.
With 2,91,379 voters, Pakur is the largest and Barhait is the smallest with 1,85,679 electorate. Nala has a maximum 19 candidates, while Litipara has the least number of eight nominees.
Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren is contesting from Dumka, besides Barhait constituency, where he is facing challenge from former JMM leader and BJP candidate Hemlal Murmu. Assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta is seeking re-election from Sarath, while state rural works minister Lobin Hembrom is in the fray from Borio constituency - both JMM candidates.
JMM leader Hemant Soren is contesting from Dumka
Besides Soren's sister-in-law Sita Murmu nee Soren, who is seeking re-election from Jama, there are three JMM MLAs, one MLA each of Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the RJD in the fray.
Former minister Hari Narayan Rai, who contested as an independent from Jarmundi in the previous elections, is now contesting on a JMM ticket from the seat. While the JMM has fielded candidates in all 16 seats including one woman, the BJP has nominated 15 candidates, including one woman.
There are 12 candidates, including one woman, from the Bahujan Samaj Party, while the Congress has fielded 11 candidates, including two women.