Ranchi: The fifth and final phase of polling in Jharkhand concluded at 5 PM on Friday. Over 40,000 security personnel were deployed in the 16 assembly constituencies spread over six districts to ensure the peaceful polling.
The 16 seats in Jharkhand that went to the polls were Rajmahal, Borio (ST), Barhait (ST), Litipara (ST), Pakur, Maheshpur (ST), Sikaripara (ST), Nalla, Jamtara, Dumka (ST), Jama (ST), Jarmundi, Sarath, Poreyahat, Godda and Mahagama across six districts in the Santhal Pargana region.
The voting began at 7 AM and concluded end at 5 PM. As per Election Commission updates, an electorate of 40,05,287 electorate, including 19,55,336 female and 30 third gender voters, are eligible to choose from a total 237 candidates, including 29 women nominees, across the 16 seats.
Soren, who contested in two seats, faced a tough fight from Woman and Child Welfare Minister Louis Marandi of the BJP from Dumka and Simon Malto of the saffron party from Barhait.
State Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh of BJP contested from Sarath.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren and his son, Hemant Soren, canvassed for party candidates.
The JMM re-nominated its sitting MLA Sita Soren, daughter-in-law of the party president, from Jama seat. Former deputy chief minister and sitting JMM MLA Stephen Marandi was seeking re-election from Maheshpur.
BJP had fielded sitting MLAs Ashok Kumar Bhagat, Anant Ojha and Amit Mandal from Mahagama, Rajmahal and Godda assembly constituencies respectively while the saffron party nominated former minister Satyanand Jha from Nalla.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others had extensively campaigned for the Jharkhand elections throughout the state to woo the voters. From the Congress, Rahul Gandhi also campaigned for his party candidates in the state.
The counting of votes will take place on December 23.
(With PTI inputs)