Kolkata: Polling for the six naxal-affected Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand began at 7 am today amidst heightened security and helicopters keeping a watch from the skies.
Notable among the total 85 candidates in the fray are union minister Rameshwar Oraon (Lohardaga) former union finance minister Yashwant Sinha (Hazaribag), former chief minister Babulal Marandi (Koderma), former assembly speaker Inder Singh Namdhari and former minister Nagmani (both Chatra).
A total electorate of 70,68,366, including 33,53,195 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in 9,953 booths spread across Palamau, Chatra, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Lohardaga and Khunti constituencies.
Congress, which has fielded candidates in Hazaribagh, Khunti, Chatra, Koderma and Lohardaga, is facing poll-ally JMM in Koderma and Hazaribagh constituencies.
The BJP has left Chatra and Palamau for its ally Janata Dal(U) while it fielded candidates in the remaining four seats.