Ranchi: Polling in the 16 assembly constituencies spread across six districts of Jharkhand passed off peacefully on Friday.
In the evening, chief election officer Vinay Kumar Chaubey claimed that more than 71 per cent voting took place. Nala reported 78 per cent polling while Sarath recorded 76 per cent voter turnout.
An estimated 70.83 per cent of the total 40.05 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 5 pm when the polling ended, the EC official said.
During the more than a month-long campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed nine public meetings, BJP president Amit Shah addressed 11 rallies. AICC leader Rahul Gandhi addressed six public meetings.
Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), both partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) contested against BJP candidates. Nitish Kumar did not campaign.
BJP kept controversial leaders Giriraj Singh and Ashwini Kumar Chaubey away from campaigning in Jharkhand
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was also not invited for the campaigning.
In the evening, outgoing chief minister Raghuwar Das hoped that the BJP would get an absolute majority and may invite its old ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) to follow coalition Dharma. “Hamari hi Sarkar Banegi (we will form the government),” said the CM.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president and former CM Hemant Soren, who visited a snacks parlour in his constituency Dumka after the polling, also looked confident and invited the media to attend his swearing-in after the results on December 23.
Out of 81 assembly seats in the states, election concluded in 65 constituencies in the previous four phases — between November 30 and December 16.
In the 2014 state Assembly election too, the BJP had not got the majority, as it had won only 37. The government was formed with the support of 5 members of the AJSU and defection by 6 Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) MLAs. The JMM had captured 19 seats, JVM 8, Congress 6, AJSU 5 and others 6 seats.