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Third phase of panchayat poll today under tight security

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Jamshedpur, Dec. 4: Having registered large voter turn outs in the first and second phases of the ongoing three-tier panchayat polls in Jharkhand, the State Election Commission is now preparing to meet the challenges before it in the third phase of polls slated for Saturday, December 5.

In the third phase, voting will begin at 70 blocks of the State from 7 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. A total of 44.63 lakh voters will decide the fate 35,456 candidates vying for 16,782 different posts. Number of women voters is 21, 39,935.

The State Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements at the 14,098 booths across Jharkhand. The Election Commission is on a high after first two phase concluded peacefully with large voter turn-outs. Shiv Basant, State Election Commissioner, said that special arrangements have been made at Ranchi’s Ratu, Khalari, Budhmu, Chanho, Mandar along with 70 blocks of Jharkhand.

Elaborate security arrangements have also been made for the third phase of the three-tier panchayat polls tomorrow in Maoist-hit blocks of Kuchai, Seraikela and Kharswan. East Singhbhum’s Ghatshila block will also vote on Saturday.

East Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner Amitabh Kaushal said that that they have completed all preparations for the panchayat elections in the district.

“We have deployed forces in the Maoist-affected areas. Helipads have been constructed in Bhoramdih for seven booths in Jhatijahrna under Ghatshila block, and the polling officials will be airlifted by helicopters to the booths,” the DC said. To make sure that election passes off peacefully, CRPF, IRB and district police has been pressed into service, while police are camping the rebel-hit blocks taking stock of the situation.

The voting process will be over on December 15, while counting would conclude by December 25.

Elections are being held for the posts of gram panchayat members, gram panchayat mukhiya, panchayat samity members and zilla parishad members.

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