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Bihar polls: Voting begins for 55 seats in fourth phase; stakes high for BJP

Patna: Voting for 55 seats of the penultimate phase of Bihar election began on Sunday morning, with stakes high for BJP as it had along with its then ally JD(U) bagged majority of seats in last Assembly polls.

BJP had won 26 out of 55 seats spread across seven districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Gopalganj and Siwan in 2010 Assembly polls. Its then ally JD(U) had emerged victorious in 24. RJD had won 2 seats and Independents 3.

But the scenario has changed this time. From the grand secular alliance camp, RJD has now fielded candidates in 26 constituencies followed by JD(U) in 21 and Congress 8.

From NDA on the other hand, BJP fielded its nominees in 42 seats in this phase, LJP in 5 and Hindustanti Awam Morcha and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) in 4 seats each.

A total of 1,46,93,294 electorate will be able to cast vote on 14,139 polling stations on November 1 to elect their representatives from 776 candidates of which 57 are women.

Altogether 1163 companies (each comprising 100 personnel) of Central Paramilitary Force and state police will be posted to ensure free and fair elections.

A total of 38 motor boats will be pressed into services for riverine patrolling tomorrow.

The fourth phase saw high voltage campaigning with both BJP-led NDA and JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance accusing each other of trying to polarise voters on communal lines.

“If BJP loses Bihar elections even by chance, though victory or defeat will happen in Patna, there will be bursting of firecrackers in Pakistan,” BJP chief Amit Shah had said at a rally at Raxual in East Champaran district on Thursday, three days before the fourth phase polling.