Borders sealed, air surveillance for Bihar Ist phase polls

Unprecedented security has been put in place to prevent any untoward incident in the Ist phase.

Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010, 00:22 AM IST

Patna: Bihar`s borders with Nepal and West
Bengal have been sealed and "unprecedented" security has been
put in place to prevent any untoward incident during the first
phase of Assembly elections tomorrow in which 47 of 243
constituencies go to polls.

Enumerating the security arrangements for tomorrow`s
polls, DGP Neelmani said that the Special Task Force would
maintain air surveillance from helicopters, while the mounted
police will monitor riverine areas.

He said specially-trained dogs were mobilised on
the Indo-Nepal border.

Elaborating the deployment of the security forces,
Neelmani said 85 per cent of booths would be manned by the
central para-military forces and armed police personnel from
other states, while the Bihar Military Police, District
Armed Police and other security forces would guard 15 per cent
of polling stations.

Patrolling would be intensified between one polling
centre and another, he said.

"Over 45,000 personnel of the central paramilitary
forces have been made available by the Centre for peaceful
polls," a senior official in the home department said.

Chief Electoral Officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh said for
the first time the Election Commission has introduced live
web-cast of voting at 20 per cent of the booths which would be
monitored by district election officers, his office and the
Election Commission in New Delhi.

The entire process would be video-graphed, he said.

Prominent candidates

Prominent among the 631 candidates 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 Anand.

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 Anand.

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.

-PTI