M A I N   N E W S

Bihar poll largely peaceful

Patna, November 19
The month-long Assembly elections, Bihar’s second this year, came to an end today as the fourth phase of polling in 41 constituencies passed off by and large peacefully.

“Polling for the fourth phase of elections passed off without any violence with an estimated 45-50 per cent voter turnout,” state’s Additional Chief Electoral Officer Deepak Prasad said.

The four-phase polls, held in the backdrop of controversial dissolution of the 13th Assembly in which no party or combination of parties enjoyed a majority in the 243-member House, witnessed lesser violence as compared to earlier ones in the state.

While a booth-grabber was shot dead by security personnel in Obra constituency during the first phase of polling on October 18, a mentally challenged youth was killed by the BSF on October 26 when he pointed a toy gun at them near a polling station in Raghopur constituency from where RJD leader and former Chief Minister Rabri Devi is trying her luck for the fourth time.

Former Bihar minister and independent candidate for Garkha Assembly seat in Saran district Muneshwar Chaudhary was detained this morning in apprehension of breach of peace.

Two supporters of a candidate for Mokama seat were arrested at Darve village in Barh subdivision of Patna district and a double-barrel gun, two country-made pistols, one 9mm pistol and 73 rounds of ammunition were seized from them just before polling started.

About 225 persons were arrested while trying to disturb the polling today, state Home Department sources said.

A group of people burst two powerful crackers at a polling station in Danapur Assembly constituency on the outskirts of the state capital to intimidate voters but polling remained unaffected.

There were reports of defects in electronic voting machines in Siwan, Patna East, Islampur, Sonepur, Garkha and Nalanda constituencies which were promptly attended to.

The fate of 394 candidates, including state convenor of the NDA Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna East), and former ministers in the erstwhile Rabri Devi government Udit Rai (Chapra), Chandrika Rai (Parsa), Avadh Bihari Chaudhary (Siwan) (all RJD) and Vijay Shanker Dubey (Raghunathpur) have been sealed in the EVMs. — PTI

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