East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal (left) addresses mediapersons at the district collectorate on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Extensive voter awareness drives by local administration, corporate houses and Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) have paid off with Jamshedpur recording nearly 65 per cent voting percentage on Thursday, a 13 per cent jump compared to 2009 Lok Sabha polls and a 14 per cent jump in comparison to the 2011 bypoll.
In 2009, the constituency had recorded a polling percentage of 52 per cent and 51.12 per cent in the 2011 by-election.
Braving 41°C-plus temperatures, voters queued up at the 1,628 polling stations spread across the constituency comprising six Assembly segments of Ghatshila, Baharagora, Potka, Jugsalai, Jamshedpur East and Jamshedpur West.
The total electorate count is 15,81,665.
East Singhbhum deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer for Jamshedpur parliamentary constituency Amitabh Kaushal said that the total percentage might increase further once reports from remote polling stations at Baharagora and Ghatshila come in on Friday.
“It seems that the voter awareness drives yielded results. We received support from corporate sectors, traders, professional organisations throughout our campaign,” the deputy commissioner added.
The elections were largely peaceful barring two polling booths in rebel-hit Ghatshila sub-divisions, where police had to undertake “anti-sabotage check” measures. No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the six Assembly segments.
“At Narsinghpur under Ghatshila block, there were reports of an abandoned bag lying near the booth. The bag was later found to contain cotton wool. In another booth at Kasiabera in Gudabandha block, a landmine was suspected to be planted following detection of wires by paramilitary personnel. For safety reasons, the booth was shifted to an adjacent building,” said East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police Amol V. Homkar.
This apart, there were 11 cases of EVMs developing technical snags at different booths. The machines were replaced by the administration with filing of complaints.
Due to voters turning up late at rebel-hit highly sensitive booths in Dumuria, Ghurabandha and Galudih areas of Ghatshila subdivision, only 70 per cent of poll personnel could return to the strongroom at Jamshedpur Cooperative College.
The roads in the steel city wore a deserted look as most shops and business establishments remained closed. Public vehicles and other modes of transport were fewer too.