Lok Sabha elections in Bihar (Photo Source: PTI)
A total of 58.92 per cent of the 87.74 lakh electorate cast their votes in five Lok Sabha constituencies in the fourth phase of polling in Bihar on Monday, an EC official said. The voters exercised their franchise on 8,834 polling stations to decide the fate of 66 candidates. The polling percentage of the five constituencies could increase once the final figures reach the state election office in the state, the official said.
"A total of 58.92 per cent voting was recorded in five Lok Sabha constituencies of Darbhanga, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai and Munger. It was around 2.74 per cent higher in these five seats compared to 2014 general elections," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) H R Srinivasa told reporters here.
Begusarai witnessed the highest turnout of 61.27 per cent, while Samastipur recorded 60.80 per cent, Ujiarpur 60.56 per cent, Darbhanga 56.68 per cent and Munger 55.38 per cent, Srinivasa said.
"Polling passed off peacefully with no incidents of any violence barring three incidents of poll disturbances at four polling booths at different places in Munger Lok Sabha constituency," the CEO said.
Police had to fire in the air to disperse a crowd when some unsocial elements tried to capture polling station number 5 at Oli village in Lakhisarai district, which falls under Munger Lok sabha seat, he said adding that the police foiled the bid and voting took place thereafter.
In another incident, one person identified as Gopi Kumar was detained for trying to create disturbances at polling station number 45 in Nirpur village in Patna district, but the local people pelted stones at police and took Gopi Kumar with them.
There was clash between police and villagers at polling station number 221 and 223 at Rampur upgraded school in Suryagraha in Lakhisarai district, when the villagers tried to disturb the booths, CEO said adding that police had to resort to lathicharge when villagers hurled stones on them.
With regard to an attack on journalist Shyam Sundar Susobhit, the CEO said he had received a complaint from the journalist that some people at polling station number 333 and 334 at Ghonghsa village in Lakahisarai district attacked him while he was discharging his duty.
Both Lakhisarai District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police had reached to the journalist on the spot but the journalist has not lodged an FIR so far in this regard, he said adding that police will lodge FIR if the journalist does not lodge the same.
Poll boycott was reported from polling station number 221 in Mohiuddinagar under Ujiarpur lok sabha seat due to lack of developmental work in the area, an official said. A total of 60 people was arrested as a preventive measure during Monday’s polling in the state, Srinivasa said.
The Election Commission has received 133 poll related complaints from five Lok Sabha constituencies, he said and added that the complaints were basically of bogus voting, EVM malfunctioning, polling withheld, etc - which were timely redressed except six complaints.
One helicopter and air ambulance were pressed into service in order to strengthen the monitoring of polling in the constituencies and also to in still a confidence among voters, the CEO said adding that an air ambulance was also pressed into service to deal with any exigency.