Ranchi: The first phase of Assembly election in 13 constituencies spread across six districts of Jharkhand began on Saturday morning (November 30). Voting will continue till 3 pm.

The constituencies where polling is taking place are — Chatra, Gumla, Daltonganj, Bishrampur, Chhatarpur, Hussainabad, Bishunpur, Lohardaga, Manika, Latehar, Panki, Garhwa and Bhawanathpur.

 Over 37 lakh voters, who are eligible to exercise their franchise, will decide the electoral fortune of 189 candidates, including 15 women candidates in the first phase of Assembly elections, said Jharkhand Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vinay Kumar Choubey on Friday (November 29).

 Security has been tightened in these constituencies and adequate arrangements have been made at all polling booths.

The district administration in Jharkhand has tightened the security in two Assembly constituencies — Latehar and Manika, where a Naxal attack took place a few days ago.

The administration has expressed confidence that they have made all the requisite arrangements and are sure that the voting will take place in a peaceful manner in these constituencies.

 Jharkhand, which has an 81-member Assembly, will have polls in five phases till December 20. Counting of votes will take place on December 23.

 As many as 67 Assembly constituencies in the state are "very extremely" to "extremely" affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said.

This is the fourth Assembly election in Jharkhand since the state was carved out in 2000 from Bihar.

With ANI inputs