Patna: Polling began this morning in 11 out of 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar in the third and penultimate phase amid tight security arrangements.
The Indo-Nepal border in the constituencies of Supaul, Kishanganj and Araria and the inter-state border with West Bengal in Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj have been sealed with central forces deployed, ADGP (Hqs) Neelmani said.
Over 140 companies of central para-military forces apart from Bihar Military Police, Mountain Police Force and District Armed Police have been deployed, he said.
The state police headquarters has provided three helicopters for aerial patrol to keep watch on booth-grabbers and naxalite squads, Neelmani said.
Prominent among whose fate would be decided include JD(U) president Sharad Yadav (Madhepura), RJD union ministers Taslimuddin (Kishanganj) and Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (Banka), NCP General Secretary Tariq Anwar (Katihar), rebel JD(U) and former union minister Digvijay Singh (Banka).
Also in the race are BJP’s prominent Muslim face and former union minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain (Bhagalpur) and Congress’ Ranjeet Ranjan, sitting MP and wife of Pappu Yadav, from Supaul. A little over 1.5 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to choose their representatives from among 203 candidates including 12 women at 15,275 polling stations, election office sources said.
Voting is in progress in Supaul, Madhepura, Araria, Katihar, Kishanganj, Purnia, Munger, Banka, Bhagalpur, Begusarai and Khagaria.