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129 in fray for Chirkunda poll

Preparations are on in full swing for the Chirkunda Nagar Panchayat election in Dhanbad, scheduled on April 7 as a part of the statewide civic polls.

Altogether 109 candidates are in the fray for 20 posts of ward councillor and 20 are vying for the chairman’s position.

The number of candidates was higher (155) in the previous election in 2008, in which a vice-chairman was also chosen.

Coal Belt deputy inspector-general Lakshman Prasad Singh said, “As many of the wards of the Chirkunda panchayat area share boundaries with Bengal, we have decided to seal the borders a day ahead of the election.”

He added the officers in charge of Panchet, Nirsa, Maithon police stations situated on the interstate border had been instructed to remain in constant touch with counterparts in Bengal.

Singh also said 70 per cent of the available security forces would be deployed for keeping vigil during the election, adding that additional personnel from other districts would not be engaged.

This election, 59 women — 58 for the post of ward councillors and one for chairman — are also in the fray in Chirkunda. Nine seats of ward councillors (Nos. 1, 5, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18) are reserved.

Of these, three (1, 5 and 17) are reserved for backward caste women and one (14) for scheduled caste women. The rest are reserved for general category women.

As many as 30,162 people are expected to cast votes at 73 polling booths on April 7. The highest number of voters (2,340) is in ward No. 13, while ward No. 15 has the lowest with 670 voters. Counting will take place at Government Mining Institute on April 11.