Jharkhand panchayat polls: 47,000 in fray in second phase

Sunday, December 5, 2010

RANCHI - Over 47,000 candidates are in the fray for Monday’s second phase of panchayat polls in Jharkhand, amid a boycott call by the Maoists, an official said.

“All the necessary security arrangements have been made for the polls,” S.D. Dharma, Jharkhand election commissioner, told reporters here Sunday.

In the second phase, voting will take place in 1,292 panchayats of 71 blocks of 23 districts. A total of 47,406 candidates are in the fray and 4,292,969 people are eligible to vote in this phase.

The first phase of the election Nov 27 saw 68 percent polling. Polling took place in a total of 1,348 panchayats of 77 blocks and as many as 51,433 candidates were in the fray in the first phase. A total of 4,327,944 people were eligible to vote.

The Maoists tried to disrupt polling at a few places during the first phase. Voting was by and large peaceful, barring a few minor incidents.

The last panchayat polls in the areas that now make up Jharkhand were in 1979 when it was still a part of Bihar. The polls were delayed due to a legal battle over reservations for tribals.

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