Bihar polls: 45 Assembly seats go to polls on Sunday

As 45 Assembly seats in six districts in the Maoist belt of Bihar go to polls in the second phase on Sunday.

Last Updated: Oct 23, 2010, 18:19 PM IST

Patna: As 45 Assembly seats in six districts in the Maoist belt of Bihar go to polls in the
second phase on Sunday, the Election Commission has changed the
poll timings in some constituencies after the ultras killed
six policemen in Sheohar district.

The Maoists, who triggered a landmine blast last
night, have given a poll boycott call. Official sources said
Maoists` posters have appeared on government buildings and
polling stations in East Champarana, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and
Muzaffarpur districts.

In the wake of the blast, the EC has decided to hold
polling in Sheohar and Belsand Assembly constituencies between
7:00 AM and 3:00 PM along with three other Naxal-hit
constituencies of Minapur, Paroo and Sahebgunj.

Political stalwarts whose fate will be decided include
state RJD chief Abdul Bari Siddiqui (Alinagar), his JD(U)
counterpart Vijay Kumar Choudhary (Sarairanjan), ministers
Ramnath Thakur (Samastipur) and Shahid Ali Khan (Sursand).

LJP supremo Ram Vilas Paswan`s brother Ramchandra
Paswan will be taking on CLP leader Ashok Kumar in Kusheshwa
Asthan.RJD Chief Whip Ramchandra Purve is contesting from
Parihar, while former union minister M A A Fatmi`s son Fraz
Fatmi is in the fray from Kevati.

The Congress and the BSP are contesting all the seats.
The ruling JD(U) is contesting 28 seats and ally BJP 17.The
RJD is in the fray in 34 Assembly constituencies, and ally LJP
in 11.

CPI-M and CPI have put up eight candidates each, while
CPI-ML (Liberation) is contesting in 11 seats.

Security has been stepped up for the polls with the
borders with Nepal being sealed and patrolling on the ground
and air surveillance intensified, Director General of Police
Neelmani said.

"We are leaving nothing to chance with central
paramilitary forces deployed at 85 polling stations besides
armed police from other states and the Bihar Military Police
and District Armed Police," Neelmani said.

The remaining 15 per cent polling stations will have
static deployment of armed securitymen, he said.

Senior state officials, including the IG and
Commissioners of Tirhut Division will keep surveillance from
the air with Special Task Force personnel, he said.

On the ground, patrolling between one polling station
and another would be increased, Neelmani said.

"We have also taken specific measures for instilling
confidence among voters to vote without fear," Neelmani said.

The Indo-Nepal borders at Sarlahi, Raothat and Mahotri
in Sitamarhi and Raxaul in East Champaran districts have been
sealed by SSB commandos, official sources said.

Police dogs were assisting security personnel in
checking at the borders, they said.

Parallel Phone Line Tracking Machines and Google Earth
systems would be used for keeping a track on the movement of
Maoists, the sources said.

Chief Electoral Officer S K Rakesh said 44000 poll
personnel would take part in the electoral exercise tomorrow.

He said there would be live webcast of polling.
Altogether 98.44 lakh voters are eligible to vote at
10,315 polling stations to determine the electoral fate of 623
candidates, including 46 women in East Champaran, Sheohar,
Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur districts.

PTI