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Action packed Battle for Bihar

Voters in Gaya

Action packed Battle for Bihar

Patna: Maoists triggered a land mine blast to scare away voters even as 10 million electorate cast ballots in Bihar’s fourth phase polling for 42 Assembly constituencies and the by-poll for Banka Lok Sabha seat on Monday.

Director General of Police Neelmani said the extremists had detonated the land mine near a bridge on the Chakai-Jamui main road in Betia jungle and lobbed four powerful bombs near booth No.56 and 57 at Danapur, but there had been no report of casualty in any of the incidents.

 The ultras made quick retreat immediately after the security forces rushed to the scene of crime. The DGP said barring some stray incidents the polling had been peaceful with a multi-tier security arrangement involving Special Task Force being in place. Borders with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh have been sealed and ground and air surveillance was intensified to prevent disturbances during the poll.

Technical snags in electronic voting machines was reported from some booths in Bhagalpur and Banka districts. They were either replaced or mended by the election officials.

Altogether 568 candidates, including 58 women, contested the polls being held in eight districts. While Janata Dal-United is fighting for 25 seats, its ally Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is in fray in the remaining 17. Main Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fielded 26 candidates and its electoral partner Lokshakti Janata Party (LJP) is fighting in 16.

Prominent contestants include BJP Ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bhagalpur), Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Ramnarayan Mandal (Banka), besides JD(U) Minister Damodar Raut. IAS officer Afzal Amanullah’s wife Parveen Amanullah contested on a JD(U) ticket from Sahebpur Kamal while LJP president Ramvilas Paswan’s brother and state party president Pashupati Kumar Paras tried his luck from Alauli. Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly and RJD nominee Shakuni Choudhary is contesting in Tarapur.

By-election was held simultaneously for the Banka Lok Sabha seat for which independent aspirant Putul Singh, widow of former Union Minister Digvijay Singh, fights former Central Minister Jayprakash Narayan Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). The by-election has been necessitated following the death of Digvijay Singh.

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