Jamshedpur, May 14: Despite Maoists threats to the people against participating in the panchayat polls, the rural population of naxal-infested blocks of Ghatshila, Dumaria, Ghorabandha and Musaboni participated overwhelmingly in the elections to exercise their franchise.
The first phase of polling concluded peacefully under the leadership of District Electoral Officer (Panchayat) cum Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police. The voting percentage at the end of first phase was 67.74%.
In the festival of democracy, 89242 male and 92857 female voters exercised their franchise.
The poll percentage till 1:00 pm was Musabani -49.27%, Dumaria -53.86%, Gurabandha -61.92 % and Ghatshila 56.18 per cent.
Polling for the first phase of Panchayat polls in 4 blocks of East Singhbhum district concluded peacefully. Voters in Ghatshila, Dumaria, Musabani and Gurabandha blocks enthusiastically participated and started thronging the polling stations since morning. Elderly, specially abled and eligible voters of all age groups turned up in huge numbers.
A total of 182099 people voted in the first phase if which 89242 male and 92857 female voters.
“In the past too, Maoists have been giving a poll boycott call. But the people here are brave enough to face every challenge and exercise their franchise. In the last Assembly polls too, the participation of the people was overwhelming. Despite the heat wave, voters actively participated in the process,” said a social activist of Ghatshila.
Meanwhile district administration officials said all necessary initiatives were taken to hold free and fair polling. Jadhav Vijaya Narayan Rao, Deputy Commissioner, East Singhbhum said that the first phase of polling concluded peacefully with no incident of violence reported so far. She expressed happiness over the response from the voters and said that everything went off smoothly.
“Congratulations to all the deputed officers and personnel for conducting peaceful, fair and transparent election, special thanks to the voters who took part in the festival of democracy,” said Vijaya Jadhav, District Electoral Officer (Panchayat).
“The good thing is that people responded to the panchayat elections overwhelmingly and the administration is quite happy,” said deputy commissioner and district election officer.
Another district official said that though Maoists had put up posters asking people to boycott polls along with threats to candidates in Musaboni constituency under Ghatshila sub-division, security had been beefed up in areas said to be dominated by the ultras.
“We had intensified patrolling and combing operations in the area to foil any possible Maoist violence and ensure free and fair polls. Apart from sealing the borders attached to neighbouring districts, we have also urged police superintendents of neighbouring States to pace up vigilance exercises at their end,” said SSP.
A candidate for panchayat samiti member from Ghurabandha panchayat lodged a complaint with the sector magistrate at around 1 pm after not finding her name and poll symbol (pair of slippers) in the ballot paper at Booth No. 29 in Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya, Kasiabera in Ghorabandha block, around 100 km from city.
The district administration is making all necessary efforts to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls.
DC said that they have completed the preparations for the panchayat elections in the district. In the second phase of the elections, voting will take place at Jamshedpur, Patamda and Bodam.
Showcause notice to 29 polling personnel
Jamshedpur, May 14: Show cause notices have been issued to 29 personnel absent at Cooperative College campus on the day of polling party dispatch.
It is noteworthy that polling party was to be dispatched on May 13, a day before the first phase of polling in four blocks, in which 8 polling personnel deputed in Dumaria, 5 in Gurabanda, 5 in Ghatshila and 11 in Musabani remained absent.