| Poll power: Women stand in a long queue to cast vote at Gadru community centre. Picture by Srinivas
Jamshedpur, Aug. 29: The by-election for the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat was by and large peaceful with the constituency registering 48 per cent polling.
Chief electoral officer Debashish Gupta said that the by-election passed off peacefully with around 50 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise. No election-related complaint has been lodged, he added.
Although there was a case of arson last night, the incident had nothing to do with the election, he added.
East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Nitin Madan Kulkarni said that the polling in urban areas (Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West and Jugsalai) was between 40-45 per cent while the rural areas (Ghatshila, Potka and Bahragora) registered a polling of 50-52 per cent.
According to Kulkarni, 35 per cent polling was registered (till 3pm) at Baguria in Ghatshila sub-division where JMM leader Sunil Mahto was killed by Maoists on March 4 necessitating the bypoll.
Villagers of Mako, a non-descript village in Potka block, boycotted the poll. Not a single voter turned up to exercise franchise at booth number 98 at Potka constituency.
At Hatibanda, according to polling records, just one voter turned up. Three army helicopters was pressed into service for air surveillance at Naxalite-hit areas, including Potka, Patamda and Kamalpur. There was a rumour that Maoist activists had taken position at a hill in Kamalpur. But it was found to be untrue during the air surveillance.
The villagers of Jhantijharna and Phooljhar at Ghatshila sub-division had also given a poll boycott call. But they turned up to cast their votes after 12 noon.
JMM central secretary Raju Giri was detained at the Birsanagar police station as he was found moving across the polling booths at Birsanagar. As soon as the police were informed they rushed to Birsanagar and detained Giri. Giri was released after the pollig concluded.
A minor scuffle took place between BJP and JVM activists at Hill Top School, one of the polling centres, just after the poll. JVM activists gheraoed the Telco police station. But the incident was brought to control because of timely intervention of police.
Kulkarni said that the polling parties from all the urban and rural centres would arrive at the Jamshedpur Co-operative College, where the sealed electronic voting machines would be kept in the strong room.
Altogether, there were 1,263 polling booths .
The counting of votes would take place on September 2.