Fate of two key Jharkhand ministers to be decided on Monday’s polling

On the eve of the elections, legislators of the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the state held meetings to finalise their strategies for the polls. Representational image: PTI.

The fate of state Labour Minister Raj Paliwar and Land and Revenue Minister Amar Kumar Bauri will be decided in the fourth phase of polling in Jharkhand on Monday (December 16).

BJP candidate Bauri will lock horns with NDA ally AJSU Party nominee Umakant Razzak in Chandankiyari seat while the saffron party’s Paliwar will contest JMM candidate Hussain Ansari in Madhupur constituency.

Jharia seat will witness a direct fight between two women candidates of the same family. The BJP has nominated Ragini Singh, wife of sitting saffron party MLA Sanjeev Singh who is behind the bars in the murder case of his cousin Niraj Singh of the Congress. The Congress has fielded Niraj Singhs widow Purnima Niraj Singh in the seat.

A total of 47,85,009 electorate, including 22,44,134 women and 81 third gender voters, are eligible to cast their franchise in the 15 Assembly seats that are going to polls in the fourth of the five phases, state Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said on Sunday.


A total of 221 candidates, including 23 women nominees, are in the fray in the elections. The highest number of 25 candidates will lock horns in the Bokaro seat while the least number of eight nominees will contest the Nirsa constituency, he said.

Voting will commence at 7 am and end at 3 pm at Jamua, Bagodar, Giridih, Dumri and Tundi seats while polling will continue till 5 pm in rest of the constituencies, Choubey said.

Polling will be held in Deoghar (SC), Jamua (SC), Chandankiyari (SC), Madhupur, Bagodar, Gandey, Giridih, Dumri, Bokaro, Sindri, Nirsa, Dhanbad, Jharia, Tundi and Baghmara constituencies spread across four districts of the state. Of the 6,101 polling stations, 4,296 are located in rural areas, the CEO said. Webcasting would be done in 2,122 booths while only women polling personnel will be present in 70 polling stations, Choubey said, adding that more than one EVMs will be used in four seats where there are more than 16 candidates.

Choubey said there will be 9,902 ballot units, 7,628 control units and 7,931 VVPAT machines, he said. Flying squads and static surveillance teams have been deployed to observe the election expenditure, the CEO said.

A total of 2,504 wheelchairs along with 4,039 volunteers have been kept ready for helping differently-abled voters and 3,432 vehicles will bring them to the polling stations and drop them back to their homes, Choubey said.

The ruling BJP has nominated candidates in all the 15 seats going to polls in this phase. The opposition alliance has fielded candidates in constituencies as per their pre-poll seat adjustment. Also, AJSU Party, BSP, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), the Samajwadi Party, the Marxist Coordination Committee, JD (U), LJP, CPI (ML-Liberation) and AAP are contesting the elections.

Polling in the first three phases to 13, 20 and 17 seats ended on November 30, 7 and 12 respectively. The fifth and final phase of polling to 16 seats will be held on December 20. The votes will be counted on December 23.