Bihar ready for phase III

Updated on May 04, 2004 08:24 PM IST

Amid shoot orders against booth grabbers and sealing of Indo-Nepal borders, stage is set for polling in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar in the third and final phase on Wednesday.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Patna

Amid shoot orders against booth grabbers and sealing of Indo-Nepal borders, stage is set for polling in 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar in the third and final phase on Wednesday.

Official sources said shoot-at-sight orders were issued against booth-grabbers if the lathicharge failed to quell them while trying to disturb polling.

Over 100 companies of central paramilitary forces, besides home guards and district armed police personnel have fanned out in the 12 constituencies, the sources said.

Police mobility between polling stations would be increased during the poll to enable the voters to cast their ballots fearlessly.

Indo-Nepal borders connecting the constituencies of Purnea and Araria were sealed to prevent anti-socials and Maoist rebels from creating disturbances during the poll.

Of 14,370 booths spread over the constituencies, 5,847 were declared super-sensitive and 4,339 were identified as sensitive where extra security vigil would be kept.

The constituencies going to poll in the final phase are: Madhepura, Purnea, Saharsa, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur, Balia, Khagaria, Begusarai, Munger and Banka.

Security measures were also tightened along areas bordering Jharkhand.

Around 1.49 crore voters are eligible to participate in tomorrow's exercise to decide the electoral fortunes of 133 candidates, including political heavyweights like RJD leader Laloo Prasad Yadav, his bete noire Union Consumer Affairs minister Sharad Yadav, Union Textile Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Union Minister of state for External Affairs Digvijay Singh.

Other important contestants are former leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly SK Modi (BJP), who is pitted against CPI-M's Sobodh Roy from Bhagalpur, JD(U) members of the dissolved Lok Sabha Ramjivan Singh, Renu Kumari and Dinesh Chandra Yadav who are seeking re-election from Balia, Khagaria and Saharsa respectively.

Controversial independent MP in the dissolved Lok Sabha Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav is contesting as a Lok Janshakti Party candidate from Purnea seeking a fourth term, while his wife Ranjita Ranjan is LJP nominee for adjoining Saharsa.

NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar is crossing swords with BJP candidate and former Union Minister Nikhil Kumar Chaudhary in Katihar.

Former state director general of police DP Ojha, CAT paper leak scam accused Ranjit Don are also trying their luck in Begusarai where former union minister and Congress nominee Krishna Sahi and JD-U Rajya Sabha MP Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh are locked in a direct fight.

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