Voting for 25 members of the Jharkhand State Bar Council (JSBC) for 2018-23 was held across the state on Thursday. The polling booths witnessed long queues as lawyers participated enthusiastically in the elections.
A total of 127 candidates are in fray in the elections. A maximum number of candidates - 55 - are from Jharkhand High Court, while 17 are from Ranchi civil court.
The total number of voters eligible to cast votes in the polls was 17,444. The JSBC had set up 37 polling stations in the state for the elections. A total of 86 polling officials were deployed with the bigger polling stations like Ranchi having more than one polling officer.
“Though we do not have exact figures so far, reports coming to us so far indicate that the voting percentage is quite high. We are expecting a minimum a 75 percent voting in the elections,” said Rajesh Pandey, JSBC secretary.
He said counting of votes was scheduled on March 19 but the date could be postponed due to the Rajya Sabha elections. It may be stated here that poling for two Rajya Sabha seats would be held on March 23 in Jharkhand.
The JSBC took a number of steps to prevent bogus voting in the elections. The eligible advocates were asked to bring either Aadhaar or voter identity card to the polling booth for identification. The step was aimed to prevent a person from casting vote in the name of any advocate by using fake identity card. The voting booths were monitored with closed circuit television cameras and videography.
Returning officer Kumar Ganesh Dutt has issued elaborate guidelines for ensuring the voting was free, fair and smooth.
Ever since the announcement of the elections, candidates were involved in hectic campaigning through various media, including social media. The candidates also met a large number of voters personally to seek their support. Each candidate tried to woo the voters not only for first preference vote but also for the second and the third preference.