First phase of Bihar assembly polls begins

Patna, Oct 12 (IANS) The first phase of the Bihar assembly elections began on Monday in 49 constituencies, including Maoist-affected areas, spread across ten districts, officials said.

A total of 583 candidates are in the fray for the first phase of elections.

Poverty-stricken Jamui, Banka and Bhagalpur are among the 10 districts.

The Election Commission has reduced polling hours in Maoist-hit areas to 3 p.m.

The outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist, earlier this month, vowed to intensify attacks to disrupt the election process and enforce its boycott of the polls.

Drones will be used for the first time for surveillance and about 1.20 lakh security officials, including 87,600 central paramilitary personnel, would be deployed at 13,212 polling booths, officials said.

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