Giridih: Over 11 per cent of 2.98 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 9 a.m. on Tuesday in the by-election to Dumri assembly seat in Jharkhand, an official said.
The polling is underway peacefully across the constituency, and the turnout is recorded at 11.40 per cent in the first two hours of voting, he said.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren extended his wishes to voters and polling officials and appealed to electors to exercise their franchise.
“Today, there is an election in Dumri to empower those who protect Jharkhandi pride, today is the election to honour the one who dedicates himself to his people, today Dumri will choose its future who will always fight for the protection of Jharkhand and Jharkhandi, today in Dumri, democracy will once again defeat money system,” Soren wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
आज डुमरी में झारखण्डी अस्मिता की रक्षा करने वालों को सशक्त करने का चुनाव है,
आज अपनी जनता के लिए अपने आप को समर्पित करने वाले को सम्मान देने का चुनाव है,
आज डुमरी अपने उस कल को चुनेगा जो सदैव झारखण्ड और झारखण्डी की रक्षा के लिए संघर्ष करेगा,
आज डुमरी में जनतंत्र, धनतंत्र को…
— Hemant Soren (@HemantSorenJMM) September 5, 2023
Long queues of voters, especially women, were seen outside the polling booths across the constituency.
JMM candidate Bebi Devi, who is contesting the by-election as the nominee of the INDIA bloc, exercised her franchise at a booth in Alargo village under Nawadih block in Bokaro district.
“I will fulfil the promise made by late Jagarnath Mahto (former minister) for people of the constituency,” she said.
Polling began at 7 a.m., amid tight security arrangements, the Election Commission official said.
Voting is underway in 373 polling stations, of which around 200 have been identified as Maoist-affected booths, he said.
Polling is scheduled to continue till 5 p.m.
Over 2.98 lakh voters, including 1.44 lakh women, are eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election and will decide the electoral fate of six candidates, including three independents.
Heavy security arrangements have been made with the deployment of Jharkhand Armed Police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel along with home guards, the official said.
The bypoll was necessitated by the death of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA and former education minister Jagarnath Mahto.
He had been representing the seat since 2004.
The AJSU party has nominated Yashoda Devi as the NDA candidate. The AIMIM has also fielded Md Abdul Mobin Rizvi.
Votes will be counted on September 8.