After a brief festival break, the high voltage fight between the Grand Secular Alliance and the NDA returns to Bihar with the third phase of voting on 50 Assembly seats tomorrow.
Voting on the 50 seats would be keenly watched across the country as it would witness battle of ballots in Mahua and Raghopur from where the two sons of RJD president Lalu Prasad are in the field.
This round of polling also covers Lalu Prasad’s political turf Saran, which has ten Assembly seats and the seven-seat Nalanda, the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Besides Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav, the two sons of Lalu Prasad, other prominent politicians whose fate would be decided in this round are BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), ministers Shyam Rajak and Shrawan Kumar from Phulwari and Nalanda seats respectively, Deputy Speaker Amarendra Pratap Singh (Ara) and BJP’s chief whip in the state Assembly Arun Kumar Sinha (Kumhrar).
–Security stepped up–
Elaborate security arrangements have been made ahead of third phase of Bihar Assembly elections tomorrow.
According to reports, each polling station will have a minimum of five central paramilitary forces personnel to ensure free and fair polls.
The Election Commission has cut short the time for voting by one hour in as many as 10 constituencies. Polling in these constituencies will be held from 7 am to 4 pm while in the remaining 40 constituencies, it will be up to 5 pm.
The 50 seats in the third phase are spread across Patna, Vaishali, Saran, Nalanda, Buxar and Bhojpur districts.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said a total of 1.45 crore electors are eligible to decide the fate of 808 candidates, 71 of whom are women.
Of the total 14,170 polling stations, 6,747 have been declared as critical and 1,909 as Left Wing Extremist hit polling stations.
All the booths would be manned by central forces and live webcasting would be done from 716 polling stations.
(With inputs from agencies)