72 detained under PASA in Vadodara

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Vadodara, Dec 15 (UNI) As many as 72 anti-social elements were detained under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) as a preventive measure, as 13 assembly constituencies in the district get ready for in the second phase of elections in Gujarat tomorrow.

''All the entry points of Vadodara, including its border with Madhya Pradesh, have been sealed to guard against possible entry of undesirable elements, and combing operation is on across the district,'' collector and district returning officer, Rajeev Topno, said.

Stating that all necessary steps had been taken to ensure a free and fair conduct of polls, Mr Topno said while 23 companies of Central para-military forces were deployed in the city, another 66 companies were deployed in 12 talukas of the district.

A total of 27,20,413 voters were expected to exercise their franchise in 2,885 polling booths set up in 1,945 buildings across the district to elect 13 members to the state Assembly.

As 86 candidates were in the fray, there would be multi-cornered contest in all the 13 seats.

Prominent leaders whose electoral furtunes would be decided tomorrow included Primary Education minister Bhupendra Lakhawala (Vadodara city), government chief whip Jitendra Sukhadia (Sayajiganj), Best Bakery fame Madhu Srivastava (Waghodia), prominent Gujarati actor Naresh Kanodia (Karjan) -- all from BJP -- and former Congress chief minister Chimanbhai Patel's son Siddharth Patel (Dabhoi).

Mr Topno said as per the Election Commission's directives, for the first time, 800 micro-observers had been appointed and 650 video cameras were installed to keep a constant vigil on each and every polling booth, which will be guarded by the Central forces.

UNI

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