Bihar polls: Maoists trigger blasts in Jamui, BSF retaliates

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Patna, Nov 1 (ANI): Maoists triggered off a blast in Betia forest area near Jamui district in the early hours of polling for 42 Assembly constituencies in Bihar today.

Director General of Police Neelmani said Maoists had triggered a blast near a bridge on the Chakai-Jamui main road in Betia jungle.

The Maoists fled after BSF commandos retaliated, he said.

In another incident, unidentified persons set off four bombs near booth Nos. 56 and 57 in Danapur.

Defects in EVMs were initially reported from some booths in Bhagalpur and Banka districts, but were promptly attended to, official sources said.

Meanwhile, an estimated 14 per cent voters cast their votes in the early hours of polling.

Over one crore voters will decide the fate of 568 candidates including 58 women in this phase. The polling, which started at 7 am, will continue till 5 pm except in 14 naxal affected assembly segments where it will end at 3 pm.

Prominent contestants include BJP stalwarts and ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Bhagalpur), Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib) Ramnarayan Mandal (Banka), besides JD(U) minister Damodar Raut.

Former CPI(M) MP Subodh Rai, who recently switched over to ruling JD(U), is in the fray from Sultanganj, while LJP president Ramvilas Paswan's brother and state party president Pashupati Kumar Paras is contesting from Alauli.

The first three phases of Bihar polls passed off peacefully. The fifth and sixth phase of elections are scheduled on November 9 and 20.

The State will elect a new 243-seat assembly in a staggered month-long polling in six phases in which over 55 million electorates are expected to cast their franchise.

Counting of votes will take place on November 24. (ANI)

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