Fifth phase of Bihar polls begins

November 9th, 2010 - 8:42 am ICT by IANS  

Patna, Nov 9 (IANS) The penultimate round of the six-phase Bihar assembly elections began Tuesday in 35 constituencies spread across eight districts.

More than a dozen of the constituencies are in Maoist-affected areas.

About 8.1 million people are eligible to vote in this round, where 490 candidates are in the fray. Balloting is being held in the eight worst drought-hit districts of Gaya, Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Arwal, Jehanabad, Nawada and Sheikhpura.

The heavyweights in this phase include Bihar ministers Hari Narayan Singh, Prem Kumar, Jitan Ram Manjhi and Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha.

The first four phases - to pick a new 243-member legislative assembly - passed off peacefully except for stray incidents of violence.

The last round of the elections will be held Nov 20. Votes will be counted Nov 24.

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