Mandar to go for by-poll on Thursday amid tight security

  • | Wednesday | 22nd June, 2022

Ranchi, Jun 22 (PTI) A day before by-election for the Mandar Assembly seat in Jharkhand, over 3,000 security personnel have been deployed in the constituency, a senior police officer said.Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the polling day and all booths have been provided with 100 per cent security cover, Ranchi senior superintendent of police Surendra Kumar Jha said on Wednesday.“More than 3,000 security forces, including personnel from district armed police (DAP), Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), CRPF, and SSB have been deputed in the constituency,” the SSP said.Over 3.54 lakh voters, including 1.75 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election.Polling will start at 7 am and conclude at 4 pm, officials said. The counting of votes will take place on June 26.The Congress, an alliance partner of the ruling JMM-led government, aims at retaining the seat reserved for ST.The by-election is likely to be a tough fight between the BJP, Congress, and Independent candidate Dev Kumar Dhan.The election was necessitated after the disqualification of Bandhu Tirkey as an MLA in the wake of his conviction in a corruption case.The Congress has fielded Bandhu’s daughter, Shilpa Neha Tirkey, as the joint candidate of the JMM-led alliance, while the BJP has nominated former legislator Gangotri Kujur from the seat.BJP rebel Dhan, who has recently been expelled from the saffron party for six years, is contesting the polls as an independent candidate with backing from Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).The election will be conducted in 433 polling stations and 1,732 polling staff will be deputed at the booths. Thirty-eight booths will be all-women booths, while 35 have been declared as model polling stations.Jha said following the mapping of vulnerable booths, 141 booths have been declared hyper-sensitive, 218 as sensitive, and 55 as vulnerable booths.“All preparations regarding conducting the by-poll have been completed and polling parties were dispatched to Mandar from Ranchi"s Morabadi ground on Wednesday. Medical kits have also been arranged for them,” said district election officer-cum-deputy commissioner, Ranchi, Chhavi Ranjan.The election will be conducted by following Covid guidelines and voters will have to undergo thermal scanning at the booths. Mask and social distancing are also mandatory for them, he said.The Election Commission has provided the facility of voting at the doorstep to people above 80 years of age and physically challenged persons.There are 7,998 elderly electors above 80 years of age and 5,081 physically challenged voters in the constituency.A total of 742 electors from both the groups have exercised their votes by postal ballot, officials said.The district administration will use 150 vehicles to transport the remaining elderly and physically challenged voters to the polling stations on Thursday.In the 81-member Jharkhand House, the ruling UPA has 48 MLAs - JMM 30, Congress 17 and RJD one. Opposition has NDA 28 members - BJP 26 and AJSU two. There are two independents and NCP and CPI(ML) have one lawmaker each.PTI SAN MM MM MM

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