Final phase of Bihar assembly polls begins

November 20th, 2010 - 9:22 am ICT by IANS  

Patna, Nov 20 (IANS) The sixth and final phase of the Bihar assembly elections began Saturday in 26 constituencies, including 18 Maoist-affected areas, spread across five districts.

A total of 426 candidates are in fray for the last phase which is being held in the drought-hit districts of Gaya, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Kaimur and Buxar. About six million people are eligible to vote in this round.

The Election Commission has cut down polling hours in the Maoist-hit areas till 3 p.m.

“The balloting will take place in 18 constituencies in the Maoist-affected areas only till 3 p.m.; in the remaining constituencies it will end at 5 p.m.,” an official said.

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

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist earlier this month vowed to intensify attacks to disrupt the election process and enforce its boycott of the polls. As many as 33 of Bihar’s 38 districts are Maoist-affected.

Votes will be counted Nov 24.

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