New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The fifth phase of polling for the Assembly Elections in Jharkhand ended with a voter turnout of 70.87 per cent. According to the Election Commission, the maximum turnout was recorded in Pakur seat with a total voter turnout of 76.1 per cent, while the lowest turnout was recorded in Dumka with a turnout of 59.73 per cent.

Apart from that, 75.97 per cent turnout was recorded in Sarath while in Maheshpur it was 74.81 per cent. In Borio, a turnout of 71.58 per cent was recorded while in Barhait it was 70.07 per cent. Littipara witnessed a turnout of 70.01 per cent while Shikaripara saw a turnout of 73.25 per cent.

Voting had commenced at 7 am in all 16 seats, as people were seen standing in queues outside polling booths. In five seats, which have Maoist-hit pockets, the process concluded two hours early, the officials said.

The seats that went to polls are Borio (ST), Barhait (ST), Litipara (ST), Maheshpur (ST), Sikaripara (ST), Rajmahal, Pakur, Nalla, Jamtara, Dumka (ST), Jama (ST), Jarmundi, Sarath, Poreyahat, Godda and Mahagama.

Altogether 40,05,287 electorate, including 19,55,336 women and 30 third-gender voters, were found eligible to cast their vote, Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer Vinay Kumar Choubey said.

Of the 5,389 polling stations in the state, 396 in Naxal-affected areas have been marked "critical" and 208 as "sensitive".

The Election Commission has set up 8,987 ballot units, 6,738 control units, and 7,006 VVPAT machines. BJP candidate and Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh is seeking re-election from Sarath constituency, while another saffron party nominee and Women and Child Development Minister Louis Marandi is pitted against JMM working president Hemant Soren in Dumka.

Marandi had defeated Soren in the 2014 assembly elections. The JMM leader is also contesting the polls from the Barhait seat. His sister-in-law Sita Soren is seeking re-election from Jama seat.

Among others, former deputy chief minister and sitting JMM MLA Stephen Marandi is seeking re-election from Maheshpur and JD(U)'s Jharkhand unit chief and ex-MP Salkhan Murmu is contesting the polls from Sikaripara.

Out of 81 assembly seats in the states, elections concluded in 65 constituencies in the previous four phases -- between November 30 and December 16. Counting has been scheduled for December 23. 

Posted By: Talib Khan