An estimated 57.86 per cent voter turnout was recorded in five Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar which passed off peacefully on Monday, state election office said. Polling on these seats was 2.17 per cent more as compared to 2014 poll, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) HR Srinivasa told reporters in Patna.
Polling passed off peacefully with no incidents of any violence and poll boycott reported from any of the five Lok Sabha constituencies, the CEO said.
The five Lok Sabha seats that witnessed voting in Bihar on Monday included Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran and Hajipur (reserved).
Except for Sitamarhi, the rest four seats were won by NDA in the 2014 election.
Sitamarhi from where RLSP of former union minister Upendra Kushwaha candidate had won last time has gone to RJD’s Arjun Rai in the current election.
Saran is witnessing a straight fight between former union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy and RJD’s Chandrika Rai, father-in-law of Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav.
The RJD supremo has himself represented the Saran seats a number of times in the past.
Hajipur (SC reserved) seat, from where Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan was elected on nine occasions previously, is seeing a fierce contest between Paswan’s younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras and RJD’s Shiv Chandra Ram.
Madhubani is witnessing a triangular contest between BJP, VIP and rebel Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad. Ahmad is in the fray despite a mahagathbandhan candidate Badrinath Purve of fledgling Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) in the field. Congress has suspended Ahmad.
Altogether 87,66,722 voters exercised their franchise on 8899 polling stations in the five Lok Sabha constituencies to decide the fate of h 82 candidates including six women, the CEO said.
Muzaffarpur witnessed the highest voters turnout of 61.30 per cent, followed by Saran at 58 per cent, Hajipur (57.22 per cent), Sitamarhi (56.90 per cent) and Madhubani (55.50 per cent), Srinivas said.
Srinivasa was accompanied by his two Additional CEOs- Sanjay Kumar Singh, Balamurugan D and Additional Director General of Police (ADG) (Headquarters) Kundan Krishnan- at the press meet.
A total of 29 persons were arrested as a preventive measure during polling Monday, Srinivasa said.
The Commission received 51 poll-related complaints from five Lok Sabha constituencies relating to bogus voting, EVM malfunctioning, polling withheld, etc. which were timely redressed, he said.
The repolling was held today at polling stations number 339 and 340 under Lakhisarai assembly segment of Munger Lok Sabha constituency, the CEO said adding that 52.52 per cent of voting was recorded at these two polling stations.
Earlier in the day, acting on the basis of inquiry report, Chief Electoral officer (CEO), Bihar suspended 20 poll personnel in connection with electoral malpractice that took place on the above mentioned two polling stations of Munger Lok Sabha constituency during the fourth phase of polling on April 29 last.
Departmental action has been initiated against the personnel apart from lodging FIR against 10 of them, he said.
The Commission has initiated action on the basis of a probe report into the incident of bogus voting and thrashing of a journalist at polling station number 339 and 340 of Lakhisarai assembly constituency of Munger Lok Sabha constituency.
It may be noted that a journalist of a private English TV channel was attacked by a group of persons when he had gone to report the incident of organized bogus voting at these above two polling stations in Munger Lok Sabha constituency.
Braving searing summer heat, people of all age groups were seen standing in long queues on many polling stations in the five Lok Sabha constituencies.
A wheelchaired 105-year-old Girija Nandan Sharma cast his vote at a polling station in Jaarang village in Gaighat assembly segment of Muzaffarpur Lok Sabha constituency.
Namrata- who came from Canada to Muzaffarpur just for the purpose of exercising her franchise in the festival of world’s largest democracy- cast her vote at booth number 200 in Muzaffarpur town area.