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dna special: Polls in insurgency prone areas to be conducted in the first two phases

Tuesday, 4 March 2014 - 9:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The Election Commission is likely to expedite elections in the insurgency prone regions of Maoist- affected states and the North-Eastern states in the first two phases of the forthcoming elections scheduled likely to start from April 10.

"We have specifically requested the Election Commission to do so. If not in the first phase, the polls in these two key regions will be over by the second phase," a senior official of the home ministry said.

About 80 Maoist-affected districts in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and UP would be covered in the this phase.

"It is being done to help security forces get over the fatigue of the rigours of tough election duty in the insurgency prone areas and allow them to maintain full area domination during polls. This would also allow us to spread out the security blanket evenly in the rest of the country where some places are expected to see scaled up violence," senior home ministry sources said.

The home ministry has already sounded an alert in all the Maoist-affected states after factoring in Intelligence inputs which suggested that Maoist will try to carry out attacks on political leaders and rallies to make their presence felt and regain their base among tribal.

CPI (Maoist) image had taken a beating in the recently held Chhattisgarh elections where even tribal areas dominated by them defied their diktat and polled heavily.

The Commission is expected to make the announcement for seven more phase long election schedule for the 16th Lok Sabha on March 5 or 6.

A top source in the EC said despite being stretched out to so many phases, the polling will be over in about a month's time and should begin in the first week or early second week of April.

The grapevine in the bureaucratic circles looks at the delay as a possible way to buy out a little extra time by the Congress-led UPA government to call yet another Union cabinet meeting and announce some more polls sops.

Moreover, the prime minister Manmohan Singh is also out on a visit to Myanmar to take part in BIMSTEC Summit and would be back late in the evening on March 4.




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