55-60 percent vote cast in Jharkhand

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Ranchi, April 10:Between 55 and 60 percent of the voters from four Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand cast their votes on Thursday, said an official.

"According to the initial reports, the overall voting percentage was between 55 and 60 percent. The Koderma constituency witnessed more than 60 percent voting. The voting percentage is a little higher than 50 percent in Lohardaga constituency," an Election Commission official told IANS.

Voting began in Koderma, Lohardaga, Palamu and Chatra constituencies at 7 a.m. and concluded at 4 p.m. as scheduled.

"As many as 1,193 video cameras recorded the polling. Webcasting was done at 271 booths and 1,189 still cameras were also put into service," an election official told IANS.

A total of 5,647,736 voters decided the fate of 62 candidates in fray in the four constituencies.

Around 40,000 security personnel were deployed, and six helicopters were pressed into service, of which two conducted air surveillance, officials said.

Votes were cast at 7,058 booths, of which 2,134 were categorised as sensitive.

Maoist guerrillas put up posters in remote villages of Lohardaga, Palamu, Gumla and other districts, calling for boycott of the ballot.

In the first phase of election in the state, the key candidates were former state police chief V.D. Ram, who was fighting on a BJP ticket from Palamu. He faced sitting member and former Maoist leader Kameshwar Baitha, who contested as a Trinamool Congress candidate, and Manoj Bhuiya of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Koderma and Lohardaga constituencies witnessed triangular fights.

In 2009, the BJP won two of the four seats, while one went to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the fourth was bagged by an Independent candidate.


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