Bali: Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari's departure from Indonesia to Brunei was cancelled following shutting down of operations at the Bali airport due to spewing of ash from an active volcano. Dr Ansari, who reached Jakrata on the five-day two nation tour on November 1, was scheduled to depart for Brunei at 0900 hrs but the flight was cancelled.

Officials of External Affairs Ministry said Dr Ansari's Brunei visit stands cancelled and he will directly head for India. Assessing the weather conditions, the Bali authorities have decided to suspend the airport services till tomorrow morning. However, it added that around noon, the weather department and other agencies concerned will assess the situation and if it improves and the flight operations resume, the Vice-President is likely to leave for home this evening.

Dr Ansari was slated to fly to Brunei last afternoon but could not, due to cancellation of flight services at the Bali airport since Tuesday evening. The closure of Bali airport has forced closure of hundreds of flights and left thousands of tourists stranded.

Over 1 crore 55 lakhs voters will decide the fate of 827 candidates including 58 women. Important candidate whose fate will be decided in this phase includes six Ministers Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Narendra Narayan Yadav Dulalchand Goswami, Bima Bharati, Naushad Alam and Lesi Singh. Former ministers Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Nitish Mishra and BJP state spokesperson Vinod Narayan Jha are also in the fray. Counting of votes will be taken up on Sunday.

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