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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 15:18 GMT
High turnout in India state polls
Voters in Bihar
The voting was relatively peaceful
More than half the eligible voters turned out in the second round of provincial elections in the northern Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand.

Officials said 150,000 police and paramilitary soldiers were deployed in the two states.

There were reports of some incidents of violence in Bihar and police say at least 17 people were injured.

The two states are among India's poorest and most lawless with a history of poll violence.

Voting has been spread over three phases in the two states on account of the security situation.

Earlier this month, voting also took place in the northern state of Haryana.

Vote counting will be taken up on 27 February in all three states.

Congress hopes

Congress and its allies are hoping to perform strongly in all three states, following their surprise victory in last year's national elections in which they handed a shock defeat to the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While Congress hopes to unseat a regional party governing Haryana, it is looking to oust the BJP from Jharkhand.

Bihar is governed by one of the Congress' main allies, the regional Rashtriya Janata Dal party of Laloo Prasad Yadav, one of India's most popular and colourful politicians and a senior member of the federal cabinet.


SEE ALSO:
Rail minister given fire warning
20 Jan 05 |  South Asia
Police rescue abducted Bihar boy
02 Feb 05 |  South Asia
Congress wins in key Indian state
16 Oct 04 |  South Asia
BJP struggles to find direction
31 Aug 04 |  South Asia


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