Security beefed up for final phase of Bihar elections

35,000 security personnel and four choppers have been deployed for the final phase of Bihar polls.

Patna: Amid a poll boycott call by Maoists, nearly 35,000 security personnel and four choppers have been deployed as part of unprecedented security arrangements for
the sixth and final phase of Bihar Assembly elections tomorrow.

Twenty-six constituencies spread over Rohtas, Aurangabad,
Buxar, Kaimur and Gaya districts will go polls of which 18
have been declared as Naxal-hit.

"We have deployed 350 companies of central paramilitary
forces in the five districts to ensure a fair, free and
peaceful polling," officials said.

Director-General of Police Neelmani said "elaborate
and unprecedented security arrangements had been made."

While, there would be 100 per cent deployment of the
CPMF in five Maoist-hit constituencies in Gaya and six in
Aurangabad district, the others would have between 90 and 95
per cent deployment of the force.

The remaining five to 10 per cent booths will be covered
by regular armed forces, he said.

Four BSF helicopters, including an MI-17 and a Dhruv,
would be stationed at Gaya, Aurangabad, Rohtas and Kaimur
districts with STF commandos for air surveillance.

BSF sniffer dogs and CRPF bomb detection and disposal
squads would also be prsent, he said.

The Bihar-Jharkhand border had been sealed off for the
election, Neelmani said adding that since the extremists could
not perpetrate any major mischief in the last five phases,
they might try to make their presence felt in the last phase.

"Since the poll-bound regions have a history of red
violence, the police force would have to be extra vigilant,"
Neelmani said.

Polling will be held in the Naxal-affected constituencies
between 7 AM and 3 PM, while in the rest of the seats it will
be held between 7 AM and 5 PM.

An electorate of over 60 lakh will decide the fate of
of 426 candidates.

Prominent candidates in fray include Speaker of the
outgoing Assembly and JD-U leader Uday Narayan Choudhary
(Imamganj), BJP minister Awadhesh Narayan Singh (Dehri), JD-U
ministers Chhedi Paswan (Mohania) and Anil Kumar (Tekari).

The JD-U is contesting from 16 seats and its ally BJP
has put up candidates in 10 seats, while RJD has candidates in
22 seats leaving four for its alliance partner LJP.
The Congress and BSP have put up candidates in all the 26
constituencies, while NCP is contesting from 17 seats, CPI
from seven seats and its electoral ally CPI-M from two.