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Bihar polls: 51% turnout; FIR against Lalu, Rabri
Patna, Nov 1 (IANS):
Published on 2 Nov. 2010 1:27 AM IST
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Millions in 42 constituencies voted Monday in the fourth phase of the Bihar elections that were marred by a landmine blast in Jamui and homemade bombs exploding near capital Patna. There were no casualties.
More than five million people voted across eight districts in the staggered elections to pick a new 243-member house, officials said, adding that the turnout was 51 percent.
Though the last three rounds had passed off peacefully, Maoist guerrillas exploded a landmine targeting a vehicle of paramilitary forces in Jamui district. A bridge was damaged but the troopers escaped.
“The blast took place near the Chakai-Jamui main road in Betia forest. No casualties were reported,” Additional Director General of Police P.K. Thakur said.
In a separate incident, some troublemakers exploded a series of homemade bombs in Danapur near Patna to disrupt voting, injuring a woman. Five people were arrested.
A total of 568 candidates were in the fray in eight districts: Begusarai, Lakhisarai, Bhagalpur, Khagaria, Munger, Banka, Jamui and Patna.
In Patna, a first information report (FIR) was filed against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad for violating the model code of conduct. He got into trouble as he entered the polling booth with his security guards. The RJD chief and his wife, former chief minister Rabri Devi, voted at a booth in Patna’s Digha constituency.
His rival and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar lost no time in calling him a “habitual law breaker”.
“Lalu Yadav is a habitual law breaker, it is an old habit for him and he will not improve,” Nitish Kumar told reporters outside a polling booth in his hometown Bakhtiyarpur.
A case for violating the model code of conduct was also filed against Bihar Transport Minister Ramanand Singh in Khagaria district. The last two rounds of the six-phase poll will be held Nov 9 and 20. Votes will be counted four days later on Nov 24.

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