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New Delhi: About 17 constituencies — known as BJP turf — of Jharkhand went to polls on Thursday in the third phase of the state election. The 17 seats are Barhi, Barkagaon, Barkatha, Bermo, Dhanwar, Gomia, Hatia, Hazaribagh, Ichagarh, Kanke, Khijri, Kodarma, Mandu, Ramgarh, Ranchi, Silli, and Simaria. Over 62 per cent of polling turnout was recorded in the third phase.

The fate of 309 candidates, including 32 women nominees, is now sealed in the EVM in the 17 constituencies with 56,18,267 electorate, according to election commission data. The electorate includes 26,80,205 women and 86 third-gender voters.

About 40,000 polling personnel were deputed to conduct smooth and peaceful voting. The polling started from 7 AM till 5 PM at Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Barkatha and Ramgarh seats, while voters in the rest of the constituencies exercised franchise between 7 AM and 3 PM.

As there are left-wing extremist pockets in this phase, Chief Election Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said that personnel of 96 polling stations have been dropped by helicopters and 10 polling stations have been re-located on security grounds.

“Personnel of 188 polling stations were sent two days ago and have reached there and almost all the officials to other booths have reached,” he said.

He added if any political parties desired to send their agents to stay there could do so.

The CEO said that there are 13,504 ballot units, 8,772 controlling units and 9,123 VVPAT in the 17 seats with double ballot units being set up in nine of the constituencies as there are 16 or more candidates in the fray.