Polling for the fifth and final phase of Jharkhand Assembly elections began at 7 am on Friday. The voter turnout in the final phase was recorded at 70.83 per cent. The campaigning for the 16 seats going to polls had ended on Wednesday. Over 40,05,200 voters in the Santhal Pargana region will seal the electoral fate of 237 candidates, including 29 women. In 2014, the BJP and the JMM had won six seats each, the Congress three and the JVM one seat.
The important candidates in the fray include Raj Paliwar, Louis Marandi and Randhir Singh, all Ministers in the Raghubar Das cabinet. Hemant Soren, the Chief Ministerial candidate of the Congress-JMM-RJD combine, is contesting from Dumka as well as Barhet.
During the last day of the campaign on Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) working president J.P. Nadda and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigned for their party candidates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed two rallies on December 15 and 17 for the last phase of elections.
In the last Assembly and the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had dented this JMM stronghold. BJP candidate Sunil Soren defeated JMM president Shibu Soren in Dumka in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.