Voting begins for second phase of Bihar polls (Second Lead)By IANS
Saturday, October 23, 2010
PATNA - The second phase of the Bihar assembly elections began in 45 constituencies spread across the Tirhut-Mithilanchal belt Sunday amid reports of Maoist violence in Sitamarhi district.
According to initial reports from Sitamarhi district, Maoists attempted to ransack a polling station and also abducted four officials of a polling booth. The kidnapped officials were released later, the reports added.
However, voters reportedly were seen queuing outside the polling booths soon after elections began at 7 a.m. “Voters are slowly coming to the polling booths to excercise their right to vote,” said an official at the chief electoral officer office here.
Bihar police chief Neelmani told IANS over phone that unprecedented security arrangement was made to ensure free and fair poll.
The central paramilitary force personnel will man 85 percent of the booths and officials of special task force would keep air surveillance from helicopters, Neelmani said.
“A full proof security was made in Maoist affected pockets in view of fear of Maoist violence,” Neelmani said.
A total of 98,44,981 voters are eligible to vote in the second phase that will decide the fate of 623 candidates. Most of the 9,952 polling booths are in the rural areas.
Balloting is underway in six districts - Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Motihari, Sheohar and Sitamarhi.