Third phase of Bihar polls end with 53 percent voting (Evening Lead)October 28th, 2010 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS
By Imran Khan
Patna, Oct 28 (IANS) More than five million people voted Thursday in 48 constituencies of Bihar in the third of six-phase elections to pick a new 243-member assembly, the mammoth exercise going off peacefully.
But for minor clashes, police and election officials said the balloting was conducted without trouble in the six districts of Vaishali, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran, and East and West Champaran.
The third phase was widely seen as a major test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s claims of good governance and rule of law.
His Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and his ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hold 27 of the 48 contested seats.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal and Lok Janshakti Party hold 14 seats, and the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML) one each. Independents hold four seats. The opposition was determined to undercut Nitish Kumar in Thursday’s electoral region.
Bihar Police chief Neelmani told IANS that nearly 150 troublemakers were arrested for trying to disrupt the elections in some polling centres.
Balloting began on a low key but picked up as the day progressed. By 5 p.m., around 53 percent of the 10.3 million eligible voters had exercised their franchise.
Defying Maoist calls to boycott the elections, men and women queued up outside many polling centres even before they opened.
After the elections ended, JD-U leader Rajiv Ranjan Sinha claimed that the ruling alliance was sure to increase its seat tally. “We are sure to do better than last time,” he said.
BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said it was now certain that the NDA will return to power.
But RJD leader Ram Kirpal Yadav said the RJD-LJP combine will surprise everyone.
As in the first two rounds of elections Oct 21 and 24, a section of voters refused to vote Thursday to denounce what they said the government’s failure to carry out development work in their area.
One reason for the smooth conduct of the elections was the deployment of tens of thousands of paramilitary forces. At the same time, the Sashastra Seema Bal sealed the India-Nepal border and the border with Uttar Pradesh.
RJD leader and former railway minister Lalu Prasad is MP from Saran but Paswan was defeated in the last Lok Sabha election in Hajipur in Vaishali.
The heavyweights in this phase included former chief minister Rabri Devi, contesting from Raghopur in Vaishali and Sonepur in Saran district, JD-U’s Birshen Patel from Vaishali and BJP’s Renu Devi from Bettiah.
The next rounds of elections will be held Nov 1, 9 and 20. Votes will be counted Nov 24.
- Bihar polls: Voting under way for third phase (Second Lead) - Oct 28, 2010
- Bihar polls: Test of governance, rule of law in phase three - Oct 27, 2010
- Voting begins for third phase of Bihar polls (Lead) - Oct 28, 2010
- Hundreds of thousands vote in Bihar -- peacefully (Third Lead) - Oct 28, 2010
- Campaigning ends for third phase of Bihar polls - Oct 26, 2010
- Third phase of Bihar Assembly polls begins amid tight security - Oct 28, 2010
- Rabri Devi files nomination papers for upcoming Bihar Assembly polls - Oct 09, 2010
- Rabri Devi files nomination papers for Bihar's Raghopur seat - Oct 09, 2010
- Bihar poll-second phase: Caste arithmetic to play decisive role (Curtain Raiser) - Oct 23, 2010
- JD-U, BJP take early lead in Bihar (Lead) - Nov 24, 2010
- NDA takes early lead in Bihar Assembly polls - Nov 24, 2010
- Rabri Devi files papers for Raghopur, Sonepur seats (Lead) - Oct 09, 2010
- Lalu dares Nitish, Modi to contest against Rabri - Oct 05, 2010
- JD-U, BJP claim victory in Bihar, opposition struggles (Third Lead) - Nov 24, 2010
- Bihar ready for round one of elections - Oct 20, 2010
Tags: bahujan samaj party, better than last time, bharatiya janata party, bihar polls, champaran, chief minister, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, eligible voters, good governance, imran khan, kirpal, mammoth exercise, maoist, marxist leninist, member assembly, minor clashes, ranjan, rjd, sinha