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Bihar polls: Indo-Nepal, inter-state border sealed off

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 13:02

Patna: Bihar`s borders with Nepal and West
Bengal have been sealed and security put on a high alert as the stage is set for the first phase of Assembly elections tomorrow in which 47 of 243 constituencies go to polls.

Superintendent of Police of Madhubani district Ajitabh
Kumar said Modhwapur, Khutauni, Fulparas and Laukaha areas in
the district have been sealed off and watch was being kept by
SSB and other security agencies on any possible movement of

Similarly, a special watch is being kept in Supaul,
Purnia, Kishanganj and Araria districts since this morning
with specially-trained dogs mobilised for the purpose.

Director-General of Police Neelmani said that elaborate
security arrangaments have been made to ensure that the
elections are free, fair and peaceful.

"We have adequate number of CPMFs and armed policemen
from other states at our disposal to maintain security,"
Neelmani said.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kumar Anshumali told
PTI, "Efforts have been made to man most of the polling
centres with CPMF personnel. Also police patrolling between
one polling station and another would be intensified."

For the first time, he said, the Election Commission has
introduced live webcast of the voting process from 20 per cent
of the booths directly to be monitored by the district
election officers, the office of Chief Electoral Officer
Sudhir Kumar Rakesh and the Election Commission in New Delhi.

The entire process of voting would be videographed,
Anshumali said.

"Over 45,000 personnel of the Central paramilitary
forces have been made available by the Centre for free, fair
and peaceful polls," a senior official in the home department

The state government had demanded 600 companies of
central paramilitary forces, but the Central government agreed
to provide 450 companies for the six-phase polls, an official
said. Each company comprises 100 personnel and the deployment
would be made directly under the supervision of the Election
Commission, officials said

Prominent among the 631, including 52 women, contestants
are senior Janata Dal (United) ministers, Vijendra Prasad
Yadav, Narendra Narain Yadav, Renu Kumari, Hari Prasad Sah,
Congress nominee Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of incarcerated former
MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, State Congress chief
Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser and Congress candidate Lovely

The Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are
contesting all 47 seats. The ruling JD(U) will be contesting
26 seats and its ally Bharatiya Janata Party in 21 seats.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is contesting 31 seats and
its ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) 16 seats, while the
Communist Party of India(Marxist) has put up candidates at
seven seats. Communist Party of India has put up candidates in
11 seats, CPI(ML) in 17 and Nationalist Congress Party in 33 seats.
Around 1.07 crore, including 50.2 lakh women and 3829
service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise at
10,454 polling centres spread over the constituencies where
the commission has plans to use 11968 (CU) and 13760 (BU)
Electronic Voting Machines.

Multi-cornered contests are lined up in all 47
Assembly segments of Saharsa, Madhepura, Madhubani, Supaul,
Purnia, Araria, Katihar and Kishanganj districts.
Major issues included post-Kosi flood management,
rehabilitation of the displaced and a pending railway project
in Madhepura.

Election officials said polling would be held from 7
AM to 5 PM in all constituencies barring the Maoist-hit ones
where elections would end at 3 PM.


First Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 13:02

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