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ECI issues notification for third phase of election

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday issued notification for the third phase of elections in 17 Assembly segments in Jharkhand. The nomination procedure for these seats began on Saturday with the issuance of the notification and will continue till November 25, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vinay Kumar Choubey said.

The scrutiny of all nominations for this phase of elections will be done on November 26, and candidates here can withdraw their nominations by November 28. The polling will be held at 7016 polling stations spread across the 17 constituencies, said Choubey.

The 17 Assembly segments, spread across eight districts, have as many as 56,06,743 electors – 29,32,657 men and 26,73,991 women. Among the constituencies going to polls in the third phase, Hatia has the highest number of voters - 4,44,246, while Silli has only 205538 voters, which is the lowest. State capital Ranchi, which has the highest number of urban polling booths in Jharkhand, will also go to polls in this phase of elections. Ranchi constituency has zero rural polling booths.

Nominations of all the candidates who reach the election officer’s office and start the formalities before 3pm will be accepted even if the officials concerned have to work overtime. However, the nomination process will be closed on official holidays.

Meanwhile, 17 candidates withdrew their nominations on Saturday for the 13 constituencies going to polls in the first phase of elections here on November 30. After the withdrawal of nominations, as many as 189 candidates are left in fray for the polls in the first phase, Choubey said.

With 28 candidates, Bhawanathpur constituency has the toughest competition in terms of number of candidates in the first phase. A total of 228 candidates had filled nominations for the first phase of polls, and 22 of them were rejected during scrutiny.

There are a total of 3906 polling stations and 37,78,963 voters in the 13 Assembly segments–Chatra, Gumla, Bishunpur, Lohardaga,Manika, Latehar, Panki, Daltonganj, Vishrampur, Chattarpur, Hussainabad,Garhwa, Bhawanathpur—that will vote in the first phase of elections here.

Officials from the CEO’s office on Saturday said that as many as 37135 electors in these constituencies are above the age of 80 years and they can avail the ECI’s postal ballot. Besides, 38584 voters with disability can also opt for postal ballot as per ECI norms. Jharkhand will be the first phase to provide postal ballot facility to voters with disability and voters who are older than 80 years.

Elections for the 81 Assembly constituencies in Jharkhand will begin on November 30 and end on December 20.

The final counting will be done on December 23 and the results will be declared on the same day. According to figures with the ECI, at least 67 of the 81 constituencies here are Left Wing Extremism affected. Central forces and local police will be deployed in sufficient numbers across all the constituencies to maintain law and order and ensure peaceful polls in Jharkhand, the ECI has said.

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