45% turnout in violence-free third phase in Bihar

Patna, Nov 13 | Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:42am hrs
Over 130 people, including two BSP candidates and an LJP nominee, were arrested as the penultimate phase of elections in 57 Assembly constituencies in Bihar passed off peacefully, with an estimated 45% voter turnout.

State chief electoral office NK Sinha said around 45% of the over 1.17 crore voters participated in Sundays exercise to decide the electoral fates of 494 candidates.

No untoward incident was reported from any constituency, state home secretary C Siroh said.

Addressing a joint press conference, chief secretary GS Kang and director general of police Ashish Ranjan Sinha said over 130 persons, including state BSP general secretary Nandkishore Ram and two party candidates and an LJP nominee, were taken into custody for violating prohibitory orders in their constituencies.

BSP candidate for Ramnagar Assembly seat Prabhat Ranjan and three activists were taken into custody for driving around the constituency in West Champaran district. Their vehicle was seized.

DIG (Champaran range) Arvind Pandey ordered the arrest of Samajwadi Party candidate for Dhanaha seat Ramadhar Yadav, son of bandit Basudeo Yadav, for allegedly trying to capture a booth, official sources said.

B Mukti Bodh, BSP candidate for Simri Bakhtiarpu seat in Saharsa district, was arrested by the BSF for going around with supporters in violation of prohibitory orders, a source said.