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Bihar poll notification on Friday
September 22, 2005 10:07 IST
With assembly elections foisted on Bihar for the second time in seven months following a fractured verdict, the poll process will be set in motion on Friday with the issue of notification.
The four-phase polling will be staggered over a month because of major religious festivals and also to ensure adequate security in the wake of concerns over the law and order situation in the state.
Governor Buta Singh will issue the notification according to which polling would be held on October 18, 26, November 13 and 19.
The counting would be held on November 22.
While the notification for the first phase would be issued on Friday, that for the other three phases would be done on September 28, October 19 and 26.
The entire poll process will be conducted through Electronic Voting Machines.
Of the total 243 assembly constituencies, 61 will go to polls in the first phase, 69 in the second phase, 72 in the third phase and 41 in the last phase.
The total electorate will be 5.27 crore. In addition to 50,063 polling booths set up in the last elections an estimated 7,300 more auxiliary polling stations will be set for the coming elections.
The state appears poised for a triangular contest with the United Progressive Alliance divided in two distinct groups, one headed by Rashtriya Janata Dal and another by Lok Janshakti Party and NDA.
While RJD has the support of the Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and Nationalist Congress Party, LJP has aligned with CPI and is trying to rope in other small parties.
Leaders of these parties are making frantic attempts to minimise the split in their vote banks and trying to finalise seat sharing to take an early plunge in the campaign.
However, political circles are awaiting the Supreme Court verdict on a petition by NDA MLAs challenging the dissolution of the House.
With most of the political parties pleading for maximum deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces, the Election Commission has gone in for four-phase poll to ensure security of voters, candidates, polling personnel and EVMs.
As part of its attempt to curb anti-social elements, the EC has already directed the state administration to constantly review execution of non-bailable warrants and recovery of illicit arms.
Also see: Our February poll coverage