Polling began for the second phase in Jharkhand's ongoing assembly elections on Saturday where 20 seats are going to polls across seven districts. The phase is crucial as it will seal the fate of sitting chief minister Raghubar Das who is contesting from Jamshedpur (East) seat which is witnessing polling on Saturday.
The second phase of assembly elections is a sensitive phase from security point of view and the Election Commission (EC) has made arrangements for the same. Polling on Saturday will take place in Scheduled Tribes (STs) reserved seats in districts like
West Singhbhoom, Ranchi, Khunti, Gumla and Simdega.
According to a news report by Press Trust of India, more than 42,000 security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed for the phase. A total of 48,25,038 voters will seal the fate of 260 candidates in this phase with maximum candidates from BJP and JVM (P) or Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) in all the seats. 29 women candidates are in fray on Saturday apart from 73 independents.
Interestingly, Das is being challenged by his former cabinet colleague, Saryu Roy who is contesting as an independent. Others in the fray on Saturday include state's assembly speaker Dinesh Oraon, BJP's state unit chief Laxman Gilua as well as former Congress state unit chief now with AJSU (All Jharkhand's Student Union), Pradeep Kumar Balmachu.
Jharkhand is going into polls in five phases. The rest of the phases will be held on 12 December, 16 December and 20 December. The tenure of the current assembly ends on 5 January. In total, the state has 81 assembly constituencies, of which nine are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and 28 for Scheduled Tribes (ST).