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Bihar polls: Campaign ends for first phase

February 01, 2005 19:26 IST

On Tuesday evening, the curtains came down on a fortnight-long violence-marred campaigning for the 64 constituencies spread over 12 Naxal-hit districts in Bihar, going to polls in the first phase of assembly election on February three.

Around 1.42 crore voters are eligible to participate in Thrusday's exercise to decide the fate of 826 candidates.

Bridge to nowhere in Bihar | Interactive map

Notable candidates include Speaker of the state assembly Sadanand Singh Kahalgaon) of the Congress, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal ministers Jagdanand Singh (Ramgarh) and Shakeel Ahmed Khan (Gurua and Bharatiya Janata Party legislature party leader in the assembly Aswini Choubey (Bhagalpur).

Samajwadi Party's state president Dadan Singh, alias Dadan Pahelwan, is also in the fray from Dumraon.

The high-voltage campaigning saw several political stalwarts, including former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her BJP and Janata Dal [United] counterparts Lal Kishenchand Advani and George Fernandes, respectively, crisscrossing the state to canvass support for their parties' candidates.

The campaigning was marred by violence as the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) Naxalites killed Imamganj Lok Janashakti Party candidate and former member of Parliament Rajesh Kumar and his three supporters near Dumaria police station in Gaya district on January 21.

They also targeted the campaign vehicles of another LJP nominee Atri Ranjit Singh on January 26, injuring five party activists. Singh, however, escaped unhurt.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, Bihar chief minister, also went stumping the constituencies.

Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2005

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