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Bihar: Polling begins under high security

February 15, 2005 09:01 IST
Last Updated: February 15, 2005 10:58 IST

Polling began this morning in 82 assembly constituencies spread over 15 districts for the second phase of election in Bihar amidst tight security even as bomb exploded at some booths.

Bomb blasts, breaking of electronic voting machines and group clashes were reported from a few of the 82 assembly constituencies where polling is in progress.

Around 10 to 12 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 10am.

Anti-social elements exploded two bombs at Gandhi Chowk in Munger town to intimidate the voters, but no casualty was reported, Superintendent of Police Vinay Kumar told PTI.

Complaints of defects in EVMs continued to pour in from several places, including Begusarai, Purnea, Munger, Jamalpur, Darbhanga and Saharsa towns in the morning.

The faulty EVMs were later either set right or replaced by the authorities to take up the poll, official sources said.

Around 114-km stretch of Bihar-Nepal border has been sealed to prevent entry of unwanted elements, particularly the Maoist rebels, from across the border during the polls.

Altogether 325 companies of para-military forces have been deployed in these 82 constituencies to ensure free and
fair poll.

Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued against booth grabbers in case the security personnel failed to disperse or capture them, official sources said.

Nearly 1.8 crore voters are eligible to participate in Tuesday's exercise to decide the fate of 1,000 candidates.

Prominent candidates include Rashtriya Janata Dal ministers Shakuni Choudhury, Pitambar Paswan, Ashok Singh and Ravindra Charan Yadav, former Union minister Sanjay Paswan, Congress minister Ashok Kumar and Bhola Prasad Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Of the 82 constituencies, RJD is contesting 67 seats, while BJP has put up candidates in 31 constituencies and candidates of its ally JD(U) are trying their luck in 49.

The Lok Janshakti Party is also in the fray in 56 seats, Bahujan Samaj Party in 78, Samajwadi in 48, Communist Party of India in 7, CPI-ML in seven and Nationalist Congress Party in 15.

Complete Coverage: Assembly Elections 2005

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