Patna: Polling has begun for the third phase of Bihar Assembly elections. Fifty constituencies, spread over six districts are going to polls in this phase. The districts are: Patna, Saran, Vaishali, Nalanda, Bhojpur and Buxar. Polling, which began at 7 AM, will conclude to 5 PM in 40 constituencies, while in the remaining 10 Naxal-affected constituencies, it will end at 4 PM.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the polls. Over one-lakh 10,000 security personnel have been deployed. Besides central para-military forces at every booth, a three-tier security arrangement has been put in place. Security forces are patrolling across Ganges and Sone Rivers on motorized boats. Fifty mounted forces have also been pressed into service. 

Five helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles are keeping a vigil from the sky, while one air ambulance has been kept ready to meet any eventuality. Inter-district borders have been sealed and a strict vigil is being maintained to avert any untoward incident.

Over one crore 45 lakh electorates will decide the electoral fate of 808 candidates, including 71 female. Important candidates include Opposition leader Nand Kishore Yadav, Deputy Speaker of the Bihar Assembly Amarendra Pratap Singh, Ministers Shravan Kumar and Shyam Rajak, and former Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh. 

Eyes will also be on RJD Chief Lalu Prasad’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Prasad Yadav who are contesting from Mahua and Raghopur Assembly constituencies in Vaishali district.

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