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Polling in 7 Bihar constituencies peaceful

Source: PTI
October 29, 2005 20:04 IST
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Polling passed off peacefully in seven 'super-sensitive' assembly constituencies of Bihar where polls were postponed for security reasons on October 26, with an estimated 40-45 per cent voter turnout, official sources said.

''No violence was reported from anywhere during today's exercise,'' state Home Secretary H C Sirohi said.

Bihar's Additional Chief Electoral Officer Deepak Prasad said that roughly 40-45 per cent of the over 15.72 lakh electorate cast their votes.

Samastipur, Dalsinghsarai, Sarairanjan, Surajgarha, Kharagpur, Kadwa and Barsoi constituencies were originally to go to polls on October 26 in the second of the four-phase Assembly elections, but the Election Commission rescheduled the polls apprehending disturbance in order to ensure enhanced deployment of central paramilitary forces.

Peaceful re-polling was also held at 136 booths in Jamui, Pirpainti, Kahalgaon and Sultanganj constituencies, necessitated by complaints of electoral malpractices and faults in electronic voting machines.

Sirohi said a patrolling magistrate Ramesh Kumar Das was arrested from a hotel on the charge of enjoying the hospitality of the candidate of a particular party in violation of the model code of conduct.

The officer-in-charge of Dalsinghsarai police station, Avinash Kumar Singh, was transferred on the instruction of the Election Commission just before polling began following a complaint that he was working to benefit a particular candidate.

Prominent among the 62 candidates whose electoral fortunes were sealed in the electronic voting machines on Saturday include former state ministers Ramnath Thakur (Janata Dal-United) and Ashok Singh (Lok Janshakti Party), JD (U) nominee and former leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Upendra Prasad Singh (Dalsinghsarai) and RJD's Shanti Devi, mother of elusive Union minister Jaiprakash Narain Yadav (Kharagpur).

Voters of booth number 11 at Mukuria village in Kadwa constituency boycotted the poll to protest against lack of development in the area.

Elaborate security arrangement was made for today's poll with over 13,000 officers and men of central paramilitary forces assisted by the district armed police deployed in the constituencies, according to Home Secretary H C Sirohi.

He said two Indian Air Force choppers maintained aerial vigil as security men in speedboats patrolled the rivers. Mounted police force was also deployed in riverine areas, he said.

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