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Jamshedpur, Dec. 12: The assembly constituency of Ichagarh in the SaraikelaKharsawan district recorded 73.11 per cent voting under strict security arrangements. Despite Naxal threat looming large over the area, the polling was peaceful. Maoist leader Maharaja Parmanik’s parents cast their votes at Ichagarh.
Ichagarh Assembly seat has 2.92 lakh voters and 337 polling booths. In the 2014 state polls, winning candidate Sadhu Charan of the BJP polled 75,634 votes (42.65 per cent) while Sabita, wife of the late JMM senior leader SudhirMahato, polled 33,384 (18.2 per cent). Arvind Kumar Singh polled 28,999 (16.35 per cent). All three are in the fray this year too.
A district official said that the third phase of polling concluded peacefully with no incident of violence reported so far. He expressed happiness over the response from the voters and said that everything went of smoothly. “The good thing is that people responded to elections overwhelmingly and the administration is quite happy,” said the official.
Another district official said that though Maoists had put up posters asking people to boycott polls and threatening candidates, security was beefed up in areas said to be dominated by them.
“We had intensified patrolling and combing operation in the area to foil any possible Maoist violence and ensure free and fair polls. Apart from sealing the borders attached toneighbouring districts, we had also urged police superintendents of neighbouring States to pace up vigilance exercise at their end,” said Seraikela-Kharsawan SP, Karthik S.
” The para-military forces were deployed for maintaining security during the poll include CRPF, CISF, Jharkhand Jaguar, Jharkhand Armed Police, Border Security Force and district police,” said the SP.
Karthik pointed out that the para-military forces as well as the district police were instructed to follow standard operational process (SOP) while extending security cover to the polling parties as well as the voters.
The constituency is presently represented by Sadhu CharanMahato of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mahato had recently hit the headlines as an FIR was registered against him for beating the staff of a private company.
Ichagarh Assembly constituency witnesseda triangular contest. BJP’s sitting MLA Sadhu CharanMahto is facing tough contest from independent candidate Arvind Kumar Singh alias Malkhan Singh, JMM candidate Savita Mahto wife of late SudhirMahto.
Ichagarh constituency has elected MLAs from three different political parties in the past three Assembly elections. In 2005, SudhirMahato from the Jharkhand MuktiMorcha won from the seat, while in 2009,Arvind Kumar Singh of the Jharkhand VikasMorcha (Prajatantrik) won the election. In 2014, the BJP’s Sadhu CharanMahato won the seat defeating SabitaMahato of the Jharkhand MuktiMorcha by 42,250 votes.