Voting under way for fourth phase of Bihar polls (Lead)

November 1st, 2010 - 9:56 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Patna, Nov 1 (IANS) The fourth phase of the Bihar assembly elections to elect a new 243-member house began Monday amid tight security in 42 constituencies which include some Maoist-affected areas.

About 10.4 million people, including 4.6 million women, are eligible to vote to determine the electoral fate of 568 candidates in eight districts.

The eight districts are Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Munger, Banka, Jamui and Patna.

Voting began at 7 a.m and will end 5 p.m. But balloting will take place in 14 constituencies in the Maoist-affected areas till 3 p.m.

The first three rounds of the elections Oct 21, Oct 24 and Oct 28 passed off peacefully. They were held for 47, 45 and 48 seats respectively.

Voting for the fourth phase is a challenging task for the Election Commission as well as the state government in view of the Maoist threat.

The heavyweights in this phase include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalwarts and ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bhagalpur), Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Ramnarayan Mandal (Banka) and Janata Dal-United minister Damodar Raut.

The authorities have put in place heavy security arrangements as close ground and air surveillance are being provided to prevent any possible disturbances during the elections. Borders with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have been sealed.

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