Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Peaceful voting reported from Maoist areas

The voter turnout in the four ‘Maoist-hit’ parliamentary constituencies of Giridih, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur and Singhbhum (a seat reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Tribes category), which went to polls on Sunday defying the Maoists’ call for poll boycott, was 64.5%, according to the EC’s app. The remaining three of the state’s 14 seats will vote on May 19.

Three policemen were injured, and four persons detained in a clash between two groups in Jamshedpur’s Jugsalai. Hours before polling, the vehicle of Giridih candidate Chandraprakash Choudhary from All Jharkhand Students Union, an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was vandalized. Choudhary is the state’s water resources minister.

Chief electoral officer L Khiyangate said, “Overall the polling was peaceful. No untoward incident was reported from any part of four constituencies.” During polling hours, 66 ballot units, 52 control units, and 252 VVPAT units were replaced, he said.

In Jugsalai, police reportedly resorted to lathi-charge to bring the clash under control.

Additional Director General (Operation) Ashish Batra, said the incident took place at St John School in the afternoon. “During dispersion of the crowd, few unsocial elements threw stones on police in which three were injured. Four people were detained,” Batra said.

Hours before polling on Sunday, Choudhary’s vehicle was vandalized in Bokaro reportedly by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha workers. Four JMM activists were booked. Chaudhary fought JMM’s Jagarnath Mahto in this seat. JMM was in alliance with the Congress, among other parties, in the state.

As in previous phases, voters complained of names missing from registers.

In 2014, the BJP had won all four seats that polled on May 12.

BJP’s PN Singh and Congress’ Kirti Azad contested from Dhanbad. In Singhbhum, state BJP president Laxman Gilua fought Congress’ Geeta Koda.

First Published:
May 12, 2019 22:44 IST

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