Ranchi, Dec 19: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s fate will be decided during the fifth and final phase of assembly elections on Saturday.
Voting for 16 Assembly seats spread across six districts will see 208 candidates including 16 women are testing their luck in this phase.
Polling will begin at 7 AM and end at 3 PM in all the 16 constituencies. Among the heavyweights, Hemant Soren, the JMM leader, is contesting from Dumka, apart from Barhait constituency, where he is facing challenge from former Morcha leader and BJP candidate Hemlal Murmu.
Assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta is seeking re-election from Sarath, while state Rural Works Minister Lobin Hembrom is in the fray from Borio constituency – both being JMM candidates.
Besides Soren’s sister-in-law Sita Murmu nee Soren, who is seeking re-election from Jama, there are three JMM MLAs, one MLA each of Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and the RJD in the fray. Former minister Hari Narayan Rai, who contested as an independent from Jarmundi in the previous elections, is now contesting on a JMM ticket from the seat.
A total of 36, 90,069 including 17, 84,486 women voters will cast their votes in this round of the elections, with 2, 31,148 voters in the age group of 18-19 years. Of the 16 seats, nine are general, while seven are reserved for tribals. Pakur has the largest number of 2, 91,379 voters and Barhait has the least 1, 85,679 voters.
There are a total of 4,448 polling stations (including Auxiliary-30) with 149 in urban areas. As many as 833 of them are hyper-sensitive and 1,496 are sensitive, the EC official. The seats going for polls on December 20 are Rajmahal, Borio (ST), Barhait (ST), Litipara (ST), Pakur, Maheshpur (ST), Sikaripara (ST), Nala, Jamtara, Dumka (ST), Jama (ST), Jarmundi, Sarath, Poreyahat, Godda and Mahagama constituencies, spread across six districts of Dumka, Pakur, Godda, Sahibganj and Jamtara with some parts of Jarmundi constituency falling in Degoarh district.
Counting of votes will be taken up on December 23.