Third phase of Bihar panchayat polls proceeds peacefully

April 27th, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, April 27 (IANS) Polling in the third phase of the Bihar panchayat polls proceeded on a peaceful note in 37 districts Wednesday, officials said. Nearly 10 to 12 percent of the electorate had cast their votes by 9 a.m., an official said.

According to the state election commission, voting is taking place in 54 blocks for 27,022 village council posts. There are 87,092 candidates in the fray.

Polling started at 7 a.m. and voters, particularly women, were seen queuing up at polling booths despite a boycott call by Maoists.

Bihar police chief Neelmani said polling was under way peacefully, with no reports of violence. He said security forces have been deployed at polling booths to ensure free and fair polls.

“Strict action would be taken against those found trying to either disturb the poll process,” he said.

The state administration has sealed the India-Nepal border and deployed security forces at all vulnerable points.

Nearly 2.75 lakh ‘troublemakers and habitual offenders’ have signed bonds promising not to disrupt the panchayat polls in Bihar, police said.

Last week, the state election commission made it clear that if a candidate was attacked or intimidated, his rival would be named in the police report.

The first round of Bihar’s 10-phase panchayat polls saw a police Officer and a woman voter being killed in a Maoist attack in Jamui district. Around half a dozen people were injured in clashes between rival groups in various parts of the state, officials said. In the second round also a man.

The Maoists have issued a poll boycott call and threatened to disrupt the elections.

The 10-phased panchayat polls that began April 20 will end May 28 in Bihar.

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