The state of Jharkhand observed around 63 per cent voter turnout in the first phase of the polls in 13 Assembly constituencies on Saturday.
Refusing to obey the Maoist boycott call, voters lined up in large numbers at polling booths since morning to exercise their voting rights.
As per the Election Commission, the voting per cent was 62.87. The highest voting per cent was recorded at Bishnunpur with 67.04 and the lowest was recorded at Manika with 57.61 per cent.
Minor altercations were reported between the BJP and the Congress workers in the Daltanganj Assembly seat. Congress’ KN Tripathy brandished his licenced pistol in the air after he was prevented from entering a polling station.
The Election Commission has asked for report on the incident and has nullified his licence.
The 13 constituencies that went to polls are Chatra, Latehar and Chattarpur (reserved for SC), Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Hussainabad, Garhwa and Bhawnathpur.
Out of 37,78,963 voters, 19,79,991 were male, 17,98,966 female and five belonged to the third gender. 189 candidates were in fray, which includes 15 women.
According to the Election Commission, there were 4,585 polling booths set up in rural areas and 307 in urban areas. Webcasting facility was also provided at 1,262 polling stations.
Heavy security arrangements had been done for voting. Helicopters were used for airlifting and dropping of the poll officials in difficult terrain and Maoist infested areas.
The sigificant candidates, whose fortune will be decided in the first phase are Jharkhand Health Minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi, Congress state chief Rameshwar Oraon and former Minister and BJP candidate Bhanu Pratap Shahi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting 12 seats and supporting independent on one seat. The Jharkahnd Mukti Morcha, the Congress and the RJD contesting as an ally have fielded candidates in four, six and three seats respectively.