Third phase of Bihar assembly polls begins

Patna: The third phase of the Bihar assembly elections began on Wednesday morning in 50 of the 243 constituencies, spread across six districts, officials said.

Nearly 14.5 million voters are eligible to decide the fate of 808 candidates. Most of the 14,170 polling booths are in the rural areas. The six districts where polling will be held are Patna, Saran, Vaishali, Nalanda, Bhojpur and Buxar.

Two helicopters, drones and 667 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed for the polls, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakshaman said. The Election Commission has cut down polling hours in the sensitive areas till 4 p.m.

According to the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch, 215 candidates in the third round face serious criminal charges including those of murder.

The staggered elections to pick a 243-member Bihar assembly will end on November 5. The result will be revealed three days later. In the first and second phases of the elections on October 12 and 16, polling was held in 49 and 32 constituencies. The fourth round will be held on November 1.

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