The overall voter turnout in Jharkhand was 48.83% till 1 pm. The election commission released the voter turnout data for each district, according to which, Bhawanathpur had the best start with over 53% turnout till 1 pm.
The constituencies where polling is taking place are — Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur.
Meanwhile, Naxals blew up a bridge in Bishnupur in Gumla district. However, no injuries have been reported. Deputy Commissioner Shashi Ranjan said voting has not affected.
Over 37 lakh electorate, who are eligible to exercise their franchise, will decide the electoral fortune of 189 candidates, including 15 women candidates in the first phase of Assembly elections, said Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vinay Kumar Choubey on Friday.
Security has been beefed up in these constituencies and adequate arrangements have been made at all polling booths.
“Adequate security has been ensured in all polling booths across the constituencies which will go to polls in the first phase. Special arrangements have been made for the specially-abled voters,” Choubey said.
The district administration in Jharkhand has tightened the security in two assembly constituencies — Latehar and Manika, where a Naxal attack took place a few days ago.
Jharkhand, which has an 81-member assembly, will have polls in five phases till December 20. Counting of votes will take place on December 23.
Incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das is seeking a second five-year term. The BJP leader has also become the first chief minister of the state to complete a full term in office. The tenure of the current Assembly ends on January 5, 2020.
Apart from BJP, Congress, JMM and RJD are the major players in the state Assembly elections. It is to be noted that Congress, JMM and RJD are contesting the polls together.
This is the fourth Assembly election in Jharkhand since the state was carved out in 2000 from Bihar.
(With ANI inputs)