Jharkhand assembly polls begins today

As the first phase of Assembly polls begins in Jharkhand on Wednesday, political experts say that the state would witness a keen contest but there would be no clean sweep for any party.

More than 6.5 million voters in Jharkhand, on Wednesday exercise their franchise to elect 26 MLAs in the first phase of a five-phase election. About 470 candidates are in the fray.

But, in a warning to voters, Maoist rebels blew up four schools that were to serve as polling stations or as camps for security forces. The CPI(Maoists) have called for a boycott of the elections.

The remaining four phases will be held on December 2 (14 seats), December 8 (11 seats), December 12 (14 seats) and December 18 (16 seats) and the results will be announced on December 23. The Jharkhand assembly has 81 seats.

The nine-year-old state, 54 per cent of whose population lives below the poverty line, has had six chief ministers so far.

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