Security beefed up across India for third phase of elections

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Mumbai/ Ahmedabad, Apr 29 (ANI): Tight security arrangements have been made across the country for the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Maharashtra, where polling for 10 seats will be held.

Out of the 10 constituencies, six constituencies fall in Mumbai while the remaining four are in adjacent Thane district.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said that the security arrangements are planned and executed as per the guidelines of the Election Commission.

"We are taking enough security precautions and making arrangements for the April 30 elections. The State Government has given its full cooperation to the Election Commission to ensure that nobody takes law into own hands and thus ensure free and fair elections in the state," said Chavan.

Maharashtra returns 48 members to the Lok Sabha from different constituencies in the state.

Meanwhile, at Gandhinagar, the state's Director General of Police (DGP) S S Khandwawala said that enough security personnel would be deployed at all the booths to prevent any untoward incident.

"We have around 15 per cent critical booths, where apart from necessary security arrangements; we have also installed videography and micro observers. Compared to last year's elections, this time we have around 4,961 booths. For all these, we have deployed 42,000 police constables and 52,000 other armed security personnel and home guards," said Khandwawala.

Polling for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats of Gujarat will also take place on Thursday.

In this phase, the election will be held in 107 constituencies spread across nine states and two Union Territories.

Besides Gujarat, polling will be held in 16 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in West Bengal, 11 each in Bihar and Karnataka, 10 in Maharashtra and one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Simultaneous polls would be held to the 32-member Sikkim assembly.

A total of 1,567 candidates would contest in this phase, the prominent ones being H D Deve Gowda, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, former Karnataka chief minister S Bangarappa and union ministers Sriprakash Jaiswal and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency Rae Bareilly and Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani's Gandhinagar would also vote in this phase.

Deputy Election Commissioner J.B Prakash said that of a total of 1.65 lakh polling stations, 15,193 in 10 parliamentary constituencies in Bihar and West Bengal have been classified as naxal-affected areas in the third phase.

At the end of the third phase, polling would be completed to 372 seats of the 545-member Lok Sabha.

However, polling will be held for 543 seats as two members are separately nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. (ANI)

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