JD-U candidate’s car torched on last day of campaigning (Lead)

April 14th, 2009 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, April 14 (IANS) The prospect of Maoist violence left Bihar officials worried about the elections only two days away with suspected guerrillas torching a vehicle of a ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) candidate Tuesday and blasting three school buildings the day before.
The election campaign vehicle of Mahabali Singh, the JD-U candidate from Karakat constituency, was burnt early Tuesday at Karma-Vishnupur village in Aurangabad district, about 150 km from here.

Police said the incident, on the last day of campaigning, was the first such case they had encountered.

Mahabali Singh’s opponent in the Karakat seat is central minister Kanti Singh of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

On Monday, two school buildings in Gaya district and another primary school building in Aurangabad district suffered blasts, police said.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has called for boycott of the Lok Sabha polls.

In Bihar, most Maoist affected areas will go to the polls in the first phase April 16. The government will deploy central paramilitary forces in large numbers to ensure peaceful voting, officials said.

In the first phase, in which 13 of the state’s 40 seats will go to the polls, choppers will be deployed for security. The other three rounds will be held on April 23, 30 and May 7.

Elections in Bihar have usually been troubled affairs. In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, 74 people were killed. In 2004, the toll was 20.

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