Preparations complete for counting of votes polled in Jharkhand by-elections

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Dumka/Bokaro, Nov 9 (PTI) All preparations have been made for counting of votes polled in the November 3 by- elections to Dumka and Bermo assembly seats in Jharkhand on Tuesday, election officials said.

The counting will begin around 8 am amid tight security and is expected to be completed by 3 pm. Votes will be counted in 18 rounds in Dumka and 17 rounds in Bermo seat in Bokaro district, Joint state Chief Electoral Officer Hiralal Mandal said on Monday.

Adequate security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed at the counting centres and CCTVs have been installed, he said.

Counting personnel have been asked to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol, the official said.

'A total of 21 tables have been arranged and 120 counting personnel have been deployed,' Dumka Deputy Commissioner cum District Election Officer Rajeshwari B said.

Her Bokaro counterpart Rajesh Kumar Singh said 28 tables have been arranged and 96 counting personnel deployed.

Around seven-eight companies of security forces each have been deployed in the two districts, they said.

The fate of 12 candidates in Dumka and 16 nominees in Bermo will be decided on Tuesday.

Both seats are likely to witness direct contests.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren's younger brother Basant Soren will battle BJP candidate and former cabinet minister Lois Marandi in Dumka.

In Bermo, sitting Congress MLA Rajendra Singh's son Anoop Singh will contest BJP's Yogeshwar Mahato.

The by-elections were necessitated after the chief minister vacated the Dumka seat and retained his other Barhait constituency, while Rajendra Singh died due to an illness.

Around 62.51 per cent of total 5.63 lakh voters had exercised their franchise in the by-elections to the two seats. PTI IKD ACD ACD