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Bihar panchayat elections: Polling for fifth phase underway

Patna: Amid tight security, the fifth phase of the panchayat polls in Bihar began on Tuesday.

The voting is being held in 60 blocks of 38 districts in the state.

Polling began at 7 am and will end at 5 pm whereas, in naxal-infested areas, voting will end at 4 pm.

According to reports, over 85,000 candidates are in fray for the different post of representatives of Panchayati Raj institutions including Zila Parishad Member, Mukhiya, Panchayat Samiti Members in this phase.

The first phase of the polls took place on April 24, while the second phase of polling took place on April 28.

More than 65 lakh voters can exercise their right of franchise at 13,253 polling stations across the state.

The 10 phase three-tier panchayat poll is being held to elect a total of 1161 members of zilla parishads, 11,496 members of panchayat samitis, mukhiyas and sarpanchs in 8,392 gram panchayats and 114733 members each in gram panchayat and gram kutcheries.

The rest of the phases are scheduled to be held on May 14, 18, 22, 26 and 30.

The State Election Commission has established a control room which would be functional on polling days from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Altogether 50,000 armed personnel have been reportedly deployed for the first phase of 10-phase Bihar panchayat elections commencing.