With the battle lines drawn between incumbent BJP and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance, Jharkhand goes to polls.
The polling in the first phase for 13 constituencies which started at 7 AM ended at 3 PM. Around 62.87 percent of votes were cast till 3 pm on Saturday in the first phase of Jharkhand assembly elections according to officials, it may go up some percentage since voters coming in at 3 pm are also allowed to vote.
A total of 37,83,055 electorate exercised their franchise which comprises of 18,01,356 women and five third-gender voters in phase 1 across six districts. 13 constituencies which went to polls come under Naxal hit areas which are Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Garhwa, and Bhawanathpur. Hence the Naxal violence was envisioned, the security was beefed up accordingly but some reports stated, Naxals blew a bridge in Gumla district where no casualties are reported. Reported clashes between two groups was recorded in Daltonganj assembly constituency, it is said police calmed the situation and the polling continued as usual. Besides these intermittent incidents, polling in phase 1 was overall smooth.
In 2014 majority of seats were won by BJP, in the assembly constituencies of Phase 1. This time curbing Naxal violence being an election issue, both Bjp and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance are eyeing for these 13 constituencies. Jharkhand CM claiming to have curbed the Naxal menace, have to be seen how this claim goes with the voters. With Election Commission doing its duty well, the whole process was a smooth exercise with some violent incidents. To conclude , Jharkand went to polls in a peaceful manner, whole exercise was well construed with some violent incidents.No casualties were recorded in these incidents. The voter turnout lags behind the overall voter turnout in 2014 by 3 percent, but it’s just a 1 phase more 4 phases are yet to come.