Ranchi: The third of the five-phase elections of Jharkhand Assembly elections began on Thursday (December 12) and would decide the fate of legislators in 17 seats out of the 81 assembly constituencies.

A total of 309 candidates, including 32 women, are contesting from 17 assembly seats. The constituencies, including two reserved for SC candidates and one ST candidate, going to vote on Thursday is spread over eight districts in the state.

While the Assembly election polls kickstarted today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to vote in large numbers.

"The third phase of Jharkhand polls will take place today. Urging all those whose seats go to the polls today to vote in large numbers. I particularly urge my young friends to vote," the Prime Minister tweeted.

The first phase of the election in the state took place on November 30 while the second round was held on December 7.

The fourth phase would be conducted on December 16, and the fifth and the last phase would be held on December 20.

The counting of votes will take place on December 23.