Bihar elections begin amid tight security

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PATNA - The first phase of Bihar assembly elections began Thursday amid tight security in 47 constituencies across the Kosi-Seemanchal and Mithilanchal belts.

Voters were seen queuing up outside the polling booths.

“It is morning time so the voters’ turnout is thin,” said an official at the chief electoral officer’s office here.

About 10.6 million voters in the region are eligible to decide the fate of 635 candidates in the first lot of the 243 assembly constituencies, most of them in rural areas.

The polling will take place in 10,868 centres.

The eight districts going to the polls are Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia, Madhepura, Saharsa, Katihar, Supaul and Madhubani.

Polling, which began at 7 a.m., is scheduled to go on till 5 p.m, except in two constituencies from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to Bihar police chief Neelmani, central paramilitary forces will man 85 percent of the booths and officials of the Special Task Force would keep air surveillance from helicopters to ensure free and fair poll.

In this political battle, stake is very high for Nitish Kumar’s future but also the political reputations of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, who has tied up again with Ram Vilas Paswan and his Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

The Congress, which is fighting on its own, will also be looking to break in.

After Oct 21, the next rounds in the elections will be held on Oct 24, Oct 28, Nov 1, 9 and 20. Votes will be counted on Nov 24.

Filed under: Politics

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