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Stage set for 3rd phase polling in Jharkhand

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pollsRanchi, Dec 8 (PTI) Polling will be held tomorrow in 17 seats in Jharkhand in the third leg of the five-phase Assembly election where voters will decide the fate of 289 candidates, including former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi, ex-Speaker C P Singh and three ministers.

Voting will begin at 7 AM tomorrow in the 17 constituencies spread across eight districts amid tight security. It will end at 3 PM in 14 constituencies while the exercise will carry on till 5 PM in Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke constituencies.

Polling for 33 of the 81 seats was concluded on November 25 and December 2 with a turnout pf 61.92 per cent and 64.68 per cent respectively.

Marandi, who became the first chief minister of the state after resigning from the erstwhile Atal Bihari Vajpayee council of ministers on November 15, 2000, is locked in a tight contest at Dhanwar constituency which was won by his Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) candidate Nizzamudin Ansari in the 2009 Assembly elections.

Ansari filed nomination on a JMM ticket but his papers were invalid following his conviction in a murder case.

Eight MLAs are seeking re-elections in this phase, having 103 independent candidates out of a total of 289, including 26 women.

The constituencies going to the poll are: Kodarma, Barkatha, Barhi, Barkagaon, Ramgarh, Mandu, Hazaribagh, Simaria (SC), Dhanwar, Gomia, Bermo, Ichagarh, Silli, Khijri (ST), Ranchi, Hatia and Kanke (SC).

They are spread over eight districts – Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Bokaro, Chatra, Seraikella/Kharsawan, Ramgarh, Kodarma and Giridih. .

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