Moderate polling has been recorded in the first four hours of voting in 17 Assembly constituencies spread across eight districts of Jharkhand with about 30 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise. But the figure rose to 61% at the end of the third phase polling in Jharkhand.
Polling has been incident-free so far, barring protest by villagers in three booths of Simaria constituency for about 15 minutes demanding basic amenities such as water, road and electricity, officials said.
The villagers in booth numbers 147,148 and 149, however, exercised their franchise soon after the district officials assured to look into their grievances, the officials said.
While Koderma registered 36.41 per cent votes, Barkatha registered 25.20, Barhi 32.80, Barkagaon 25.10, Ramgarh 29.50, Mandu 27.50, Hazaribagh 24.50,Simaria 30.56, Dhanwar 32, Gomia 30, Bermo 27.46, Ichagarh 40, Silli 43.14, Khijri 35.59, Ramgarh 31.94, Ranchi 31.94, Hatia 10.25 and Kanke 26.71 per cent.
Former chief minister Babulal Marandi(Dhanwar), ex – Assembly Speaker C P Singh (Ranchi) and three incumbent ministers — Finance Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh (Bermo), Water Resources Minister Annapurna Devi (Kodarma) and Drinking & Sanitation Minister Jaiprakash Bhai Patel (Mandu) are among the 289 candidates who are in the fray on Tuesday.
Eight MLAs are seeking re-election in this phase.
Polling was going on smoothly at Ichagarh constituency where JVM (Prajatantrik) candidate and sitting MLA Arvind Kumar Singh and 11 others were arrested following a clash between his party supporters and BJP workers in adjoining Seraikela-Kharswan district in the early hours on Tuesday.
DIG (Kolhan) Md Nehal said the incident had nothing to do with the polls.
While polling will end at 3 PM in 14 constituencies, it will continue till 5 PM in Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke constituencies.
A 50,16,657-strong electorate, including 23,55,728 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise.
Security forces are keeping a vigil in the Maoist-hit areas where 1,957 booths have been marked as highly sensitive and 1,477 as sensitive booths.
Polling for 33 of the 81 seats was held on November 25 and December 2 which registered 61.92 per cent and 64.68 per cent turnout respectively.