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Bihar: EC advises people to vote fearlessly

By Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna
October 26, 2005 11:16 IST
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The Election Commission's special advisor K J Rao has appealed to the voters to come out in large numbers to vote without fear during the second phase of polls, which began early Wednesday morning.

Rao's appeal to voters assumes much significance in view of the fact that first phase of polls recorded only 46 per cent polling, a low from Bihar standards.

"I appeal to voters to exercise their franchise without fear and threat of any one," Rao told newspersons in Patna. His appeal was showed by local television news channels.

Polling began amidst unprecedented security on a peaceful note Wednesday morning in ready for the second round polls in 62 of 243 assembly constituencies spread over 11 districts in Bihar.

Chief Secretary G S Kang said that unlike the shoot-at-sight orders during the first phase, this time troublemakers or booth grabbers would be shot with the intent to kill.

A total of 90,000 security personnel include 600 companies of central paramilitary forces and 40 companies of Bihar Military Police and 23,000 personnel of District Armed Police and home guards have been deployed at 14,000 polling booths to ensure free and fair polls.

Prominent leaders in the fray include former Chief Minister Rabri Devi and state Congress president Sadanand Singh.

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Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna