Patna: Voting will be held in 55 seats on Sunday in the penultimate phase of Bihar election, with stakes high for BJP as it had along with its then ally JD(U) bagged majority of seats in last Assembly polls. BJP had won 26 out of 55 seats spread across seven districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Gopalganj and Siwan in 2010 Assembly polls. Its then ally JD(U) had emerged victorious in 24. RJD had won 2 seats and Independents 3.
But the scenario has changed this time. From the grand secular alliance camp, RJD has now fielded candidates in 26 constituencies followed by JD(U) in 21 and Congress 8. From NDA on the other hand, BJP fielded its nominees in 42 seats in this phase, LJP in 5 and Hindustanti Awam Morcha and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) in 4 seats each.
A total of 1,46,93,294 electorate will be able to cast vote on 14,139 polling stations on November 1 to elect their representatives from 776 candidates of which 57 are women. On the basis of assessment of security situation, polling will be held from 7 AM to 5 PM in 43 constituencies, while it will be shortened by one hour in 8 seats and voting would end at 3 PM in four seats, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said.
Altogether 1163 companies (each comprising 100 personnel) of Central Paramilitary Force and state police will be posted to ensure free and fair elections. A total of 38 motor boats will be pressed into services for riverine patrolling tomorrow.
Balloting has already completed on 131 seats in the earlier three rounds. After completion of fourth phase, voting would be over in 186 seats. The last phase of polling is scheduled on November 5 on the remaining 57 seats.. The fourth phase saw high voltage campaigning with both BJP-led NDA and JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance accusing each other of trying to polarise voters on communal lines.
Counting of votes is on November 8