Patna: Two major incidents of violence were reported during the first phase of the polling in Jharkhand on Saturday, which witnessed around 64 per cent of voting.
Congress candidate Krishna Nand Tripathi was seen flashing a gun outside a booth during the first phase of the polling. The incident occurred after clashes broke out between the Congress and the BJP supporters in Kosiyara village in Daltonganj Assembly constituency. Tripathi, who was detained for questioning, was later released.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has asked the district administration to submit a report regarding the incident.
Talking to reporters outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office after questioning, K.N. Tripathi said that “the situation went out of hand after I was attacked by the supporters of the BJP nominee who were trying to disrupt the electoral process outside the polling station. I also requested the administration and police to provide me security when the BJP workers created a ruckus outside the polling station and stopped me”.
According to sources from Ranchi, his weapon was seized and a probe has been launched by the police to find reasons behind the incident.
In another incident, Naxals tried to create disturbances in Gumla by blowing up a bridge in Bishunpur area immediately after the voting began on Saturday.
According to district administration, “no casualty was reported and the voting process was also not disrupted due to the Naxal violence”.
Around 64.12 per cent of voting was recorded for the 13 Assembly seats that went to the polls in the first phase on Saturday.
The BJP was locked in a tough electoral battle with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led grand alliance. Key leaders in the fray include BJP candidate and health minister Ram Chandra Chnadravashi from Bisrampur seat and Congress state president Rameshwar Oraon from Lohardaga.
As many as 189 candidates were in the fray in the first phase. The ruling BJP, which is trying to return to power is contesting 12 seats and supporting an independent from Hussainabad.
The opposition Congress fielded candidates on six seats, the JMM four and the RJD three seats. The All Jharkhand Students Union which had contested in alliance with BJP in 2014 is contesting alone on three seats.
The Bhawanathpur constituency has the maximum of 28 contestants, while Chatra has the lowest with nine.
The next four phases of polling for the 81-member assembly will be held on December 7, 12, 16 and 20. Counting is scheduled on December 23....