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Election Spoilers

Last updated on: April 16, 2009 12:42 IST

Over 14.31 crore voters are expected to turn up at about 1.85 lakh polling stations to cast their ballot in the first phase of polling. However, not all seems to be going as planned. Here are some poll spoilers.

AP: Cyclone Bijli causes a scare
The cyclonic storm Bijli that lay centred about 400 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam, which could lead to rain or thundershowers at many places in north coastal Andhra, has become a cause for concern to the state officials as the first phase election is underway in three districts in the region.

Though no rain has been reported from the region so far, there is likelihood of thundershowers with squally winds blowing at a speed of 65-75 kmph over north coastal Andhra, Orissa and West Bengal, according to the Indian Meteorological Department.

This could affect the polling in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts, state officials fear.

A high-ranking official in Visakhapatnam, however, told PTI over phone that the situation was normal after two hours of polling. State Chief Electoral Officer I V Subba Rao said here that there was no problem so far with the polling and said necessary arrangements were in place in case of any emergency.

The IMD forecast that squally winds with speed reaching 50-60 kmph and gusting to 70 kmph are likely along and off north coastal Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal coasts during the next 48 hours.

As the sea condition will be rough to very rough, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off these coasts.

Naxals strike in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh
Polling for the first phase of elections to Lok Sabha began on a violent note in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar with Naxals targeting security personnel in the 3 states.

As soon as the polling began in Jharkhand, Naxals struck at a BSF bus in Latehar district in which seven BSF personnel and two civilians were killed.

Naxals also struck at polling booths in Chhattisgarh, triggering IED blasts and exchanging fire with security forces in Dantewada and Narainpur regions. Six security personnel have been killed in gunbattle. A home guard and a policeman on poll duty were shot dead and another injured by Naxals in Singhpur village under Banke Bazaar police station in Gaya district of Bihar, police said. Two other police personnel were missing.

Delimitation woes in Andhra village
Polling at Aiza village in Mahboobnagar district was suspended after villagers, protesting against delimitation of constituencies destroyed EVMs and clashed with voters.

Repolling will be held in the village later, Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra Pradesh, I V Subba Rao said.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against TRS candidate T Harish Rao for giving an interview to a local channel against poll code, following a complaint, Rao said.

The interview was telecast on Wednesday on Channel 2 and a case has been registered against the channel also. The Medak District Collector has been asked to look into the matter, the Chief Electoral Officer said.

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