The Weekend Leader - Voters defy Maoist threat with 64% turnout in Jharkhand   

Voters defy Maoist threat with 64% turnout in Jharkhand  

New Delhi


Over 64 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of Jharkhand polls in 13 Assembly constituencies, which fall in the Maoist-hit districts.

More than 85 per cent polling stations in these constituencies, where 189 candidates were in the fray, were categorised critical.

According to an Election Commission statement, four choppers were used to deploy 440 polling personnel to the polling stations, and five choppers will be used for bringing them back from remote locations.

The poll panel, in a special initiative, focused on social media engagement through various platforms and also engaged people through Electoral Literacy Awareness & Chunav Pathshala in all 4,892 booths in the first phase of vote.

"Election-related messages circulated through print media, electronic media & social media viz Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, etc. Voter mobilisation events, like races, competitions, plays, women-centric events and youth voter festival, were organised in every Assembly seat," the poll panel said.

Moreover, state icons were also engaged for the awareness programme through LED Van, cinema hall and TV channels, and radio jingles were broadcast through Akashvani.

Special arrangements were made for senior citizens and people with disabilities (PwD).

"Extensive mapping was done to facilitate 49,007 PwDs to cast their votes comfortably. 7,106 volunteers facilitated bringing PwD voters from their houses to the polling stations. 1,108 vehicles were deployed to facilitate their transport. 2,952 wheelchairs were provided at the polling stations. 136 EVM familiarisation camps were organised exclusively for PwDs," it said.

The online initiatives for awareness included online application for political parties to hold meetings and complaints were disposed through C-vigil app.

Some minor incidents of IED blasts and scuffle between candidates was also reported in the first phase of polling.-IANS

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