Campaigning ends for fourth phase of Bihar polls

October 30th, 2010 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Patna, Oct 30 (IANS) Campaigning ended Saturday for the 42 constituencies, nearly a dozen of them Maoist-affected, in Bihar’s drought-hit districts that go to polls Monday in the fourth round of the six-phased state assembly elections.

Though campaigning ended peacefully with no major incidents of violence reported the polling in this phase will be a challenging task for the Election Commission as well as the state government in view of the Maoist threat. The first three rounds of the polls - Oct 21, Oct 24 and Oct 28 - passed off peacefully. They were held for 47, 45 and 48 seats, respectively, of the total 243 Bihar assembly seats.

The over week-long canvassing saw top leaders of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) combine as well as the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) hitting the campaign trail.

The period witnessed a war of words and was occasionally marred by personal attacks. The run-up to the elections saw spirited campaigning even by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, senior leaders like L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, and RJD chief Lalu Prasad besides Nitish Kumar. All of them addressed large election rallies to woo voters.

About 10.04 million voters are eligible to vote to determine the electoral fate of 568 candidates in the fray in Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Munger, Jamui, and Patna districts.

The heavyweights in the fray in this phase include state ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Nand Kishore Yadav and Ramnarayan Mandal, besides LJP president Ramvilas Paswan’s brother and state party president Pashupati Kumar Paras.

After Nov 1, the next rounds of the elections will be held Nov 9 and Nov 20. Votes will be counted Nov 24.

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