TODAY -
45 ACs in Bihar ready for polls today
Source: The Sangai Express / PTI

Patna, October 23 2010: As 45 Assembly seats in six districts in the Maoist belt of Bihar go to polls in the second phase tomorrow, the Election Commission has changed the poll timings in some constituencies after the ultras killed six policemen in Sheohar district.

The Maoists, who triggered a landmine blast last night, have given a poll boycott call.

Official sources said Maoists' posters have appeared on government buildings and polling stations in East Champarana, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts.

In the wake of the blast, the EC has decided to hold polling in Sheohar and Belsand Assembly constituencies between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm along with three other Naxal-hit constituencies of Minapur, Paroo and Sahebgunj.

Political stalwarts whose fate will be decided include state RJD chief Abdul Bari Siddiqui (Alinagar), his JD(U) counterpart Vijay Kumar Choudhary (Sarairanjan), ministers Ramnath Thakur (Samastipur) and Shahid Ali Khan (Sursand).

LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan's brother Ramchandra Paswan will be taking on CLP leader Ashok Kumar in Kusheshwa Asthan.

RJD Chief Whip Ramchandra Purve is contesting from Parihar, while former union minister MAA Fatmi's son Fraz Fatmi is in the fray from Kevati.

The Congress and the BSP are contesting all the seats.

The ruling JD(U) is contesting 28 seats and ally BJP 17.The RJD is in the fray in 34 Assembly constituencies, and ally LJP in 11 .

CPI-M and CPI have put up eight candidates each, while CPI-ML (Liberation) is contesting in 11 seats.

Security has been stepped up for the polls with the borders with Nepal being sealed and patrolling on the ground and air surveillance intensified, Director General of Police Neelmani said.

"We are leaving nothing to chance with central paramilitary forces deployed at 85 polling stations besides armed police from other states and the Bihar Military Police and District Armed Police," Neelmani said.

The remaining 15 per cent polling stations will have static deployment of armed securitymen, he said.Senior state officials, including the IG and Commissioners of Tirhut Division will keep surveillance from the air with Special Task Force personnel, he said.

On the ground, patrolling between one polling station and another would be increased, Neelmani said.

"We have also taken specific measures for instilling confidence among voters to vote without fear," Neelmani said.

The Indo-Nepal borders at Sarlahi, Raothat and Mahotri in Sitamarhi and Raxaul in East Champaran districts have been sealed by SSB commandos, official sources said.

Police dogs were assisting security personnel in checking at the borders, they said.

Parallel Phone Line Tracking Machines and Google Earth systems would be used for keeping a track on the movement of Maoists, the sources said.

Chief Electoral Officer SK Rakesh said 44000 poll personnel would take part in the electoral exercise tomorrow.

He said there would be live webcast of polling.

Altogether 98.44 lakh voters are eligible to vote at 10,315 polling stations to determine the electoral fate of 623 candidates, including 46 women in East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur districts.


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