Ranchi: Polling for eight Lok Sabha seats and Jamtara assembly bypoll began at 7 am on Thursday amid tight security measures in Jharkhand in the shadow of Maoist violence.
A total of 1,08,16,318 electorate, including 50,87,04 women, will be eligible to cast their votes in Dumka, Raj Mahal, Godda, Giridih, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum Lok Sabha seats to chose their representatives from among 164 candidates.
Polling at Dumka, Raj Mahal and Godda will end at 4 pm, while the time is fixed at 3 pm for the rest, state election office sources said.
Prominent among the Lok Sabha seat contestants are Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay (Ranchi) former chief ministers Shibu Soren (Dumka), Arjun Munda (Jamshedpur) and Madhu Koda (Singhbhum).
JMM’s sitting MP Suman Mahato (Jamshedpur) is among the eight women contestants.
Soren is also among the 19 nominees, including one woman, contesting the Jamtara assembly bypoll.
According to Election Commission sources, adequate security arrangements have been made, including helicopter surveillance in Maoist pockets.
In a daring pre-poll attack Maoists seized the Gomoh-Mughalsarai passenger train in Jharkhand’s Latehar district on Wednesday morning and kept the passengers hostage for four hours.
They also triggered a blast at Utari Road railway station in neighbouring Palamu district during their 24-hour Jharkhand-Bihar bandh called ON Wednesday to protest the killing of their cadres recently.