Nearly 60 percent turnout in Bihar local polls (Lead)

May 3rd, 2011 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, May 3 (IANS) Nearly 60 percent votes were cast Tuesday in the fifth round of Bihar’s 10-phased panchayat polls amid reports of sporadic violence, officials said.

According to Bihar police chief Neelmani, the polling has been generally peaceful, except reports of firing and clashes between rival groups in some places.

“There were no reports of any major violence till polls ended at 5 p.m. as it was held under tight security,” he said.

According to the state election commission officials, the polling percentage may go up one to two percent after final reports by late evening.

Police arrested over 500 people and seized 150 vehicles across the state to ensure free and fair polls.

Voting is being held in 51 blocks, including eight Maoist-affected, in 37 districts in the fifth phase to elect 25,980 village councils. There are 85,403 candidates in the fray.

The polls will end May 28.

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