Ranchi, June 12: Heavy security was in place Tuesday as voters queued up to cast their ballots in the by-election to the Jharkhand assembly from the Hatia constituency.
Of the 425 polling booths in the constituency, 319 have been declared as sensitive or very sensitive. State police and paramilitary forces have been deployed for peaceful polling.
Polling began at 8 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. In the first three hours till 11 a.m., around 18 to 20 percent voting had taken place, officials said. An electorate of 4,02,181 is to decide the fate of 29 candidates in the fray.
The key contest is among the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). The BJP and AJSU are partners in the ruling alliance in Jharkhand.
The Hatia seat fell vacant after Congress legislator Gopal Nath Sahdeo passed away in 2010. A poll petition had held up the election till now.