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Panchayat polls begin in Bihar today

Posted by on April 20, 2011 0 Comment

Wearing strings of carrots and sporting a weird haircut known locally as the “Ghazni hair”, Shivanand Yadav walked door to door to ask people to vote for him on the carrot symbol assigned to him. In Ekdanga panchayat of Barh near Patna, Mr Yadav hopes to turn lucky in the panchayat polls that he has lost twice earlier.

The campaigns for Bihar’s 10-phase panchayat elections, beginning from Wednesday with the first phase being held in 57 blocks of 37 districts, have been as clamorous as colourful despite the fear of Maoists looming heavy in many parts. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place with the deployment of both the state police forces and Central paramilitary forces for the first phase, campaigns for which ended peacefully on Monday.

An overwhelming public enthusiasm marks the panchayat polls. In the first phase, as many as 1.43 lakh candidates are in the fray for 28,639 posts in the three-tier system such as mukhia, sarpanch, panchayat member, panchayat samiti member and district board member.

About 1,000 candidates withdrew their candidature last week for fear of the Maoists.

Interestingly, these polls have driven wedges within many families with political aspirations because close relations like husbands and wives and fathers and sons are contesting against one another and campaigning hard to win. Asian Age

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