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55 percent turnout; 19 killed
February 03, 2005 18:01 IST
Last Updated: February 03, 2005 22:09 IST
An estimated 55 percent of the 3.24 crore electorate exercised their franchise in the assembly polls in Haryana and in the first phase of the exercise in Bihar and Jharkhand on Thursday, the Election Commission said in New Delhi.
Over 68 per cent turnout of voters was registered in Haryana, while it was 52 to 55 per cent in Bihar and 45 per cent in Jharkhand, EC spokesman A N Jha told reporters.
In Haryana, election were held in all the 90 seats, while in Bihar people cast votes in 64 seats and in Jharkhand polling was held in 24 constituencies.
Nineteen people were killed in Naxalite and poll-related violence.
The polling in Haryana sealed the fates of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chatuala -- who is pitted against Congress' young turk and Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee working president Randeep Singh Surjewala in Narwana, his two sons Abhay and Ajay and Congress veteran and former chief minister Bhajan Lal.
Narwana and Adampur recorded a huge turnout of over 82 percent. The polling in the state was by and large peaceful, barring stray violence in which one person was shot dead.
In contrast, violence marred the first round of the three-phased polling in Bihar. Seven people were killed, three of them falling victims to Naxalite attacks in Gaya district.
In the first assembly elections in Jharkhand, which was formed three years ago, voters exercised franchise in 24 of the total 88 constituencies despite a poll boycott call given by Naxalites.
Six policemen and a civilian perished when Naxalites triggered a landmine in Palamau district.
Palamau Additional District Magistrate Khurshid Alam said four Naxalites were killed in an encounter with Central Reserve Police Force in Hussainabad constituency.
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