Patna : Bihar electorate began its vote-cast from early morning hours of Friday today, as the assembly elections execute their second phase of polling, bring Bihar residents to the voting booths, giving them the power of exercising their voting rights and helping in sealing the fate of upcoming government in Bihar state.
The bidding has begun for 32 constituencies spread across six Maoist prone districts of Bihar, from where 456 candidates have filed in their nominations and are poised to test electoral waters in the second phase today. The battle for Bihar entered its round two today, with around 86 lakh voters set to decide the fate of contestants aspiring to take a legislative seat in Bihar assembly.
Voting has begun in 9,119 polling stations covering the districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jehanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya. Time schedule for voting ranges between 7 am to 5 pm, and has been staggered to terminate as early as 3 pm in some districts, whereas others would continue polling till 5 pm closing time.
The day began with Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking to twitter and urging the residents of Bihar to cast their votes and exercise their electoral rights. The Election Commission has begun its survellience and tightened security as the areas going to poll today are heavily maoist-hit regions where security plays a big role in extending support to the voters. Voters have mustered courage to come out and lodge their votecast and women, senior citizens and youth are observed participating in huge numbers.The second phase voting poses a great challenge for the security personnel as the six districts are heavily affected by Maoist movement.
In view of the security concerns, a total of 993 companies of Central Para Military forces and state police are deployed to ensure peaceful voting. As many as 334 companies would be in service in Gaya, 201 in Rohtas and 193 in Aurangabad.
The first phase saw an estimated 57% of electorate cast their votes on October 12. The present Bihar polls has presented a two-sided contest where the BJP-led NDA is up against a so-called grand alliance of the Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress.
The most-talked about seat of this second phase is the one from where a Mahadalit leader is bidding for his seat. While contests on all the seats is intense, the battle at Imamganj (reserved SC seat) would be closely watched where former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) is locked in a straight contest with the Speaker of the outgoing assembly, Uday Narain Chaudhary of JD-U. Chaudhary is a five-term MLA from the seat. Not taking any chances of uncertainity, Manjhi is also contesting from Makhdumpur seat in Jehanabad.