An estimated 53.06 per cent voter turnout was recorded in four Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar which went to the polls in the first phase on Thursday, a top election official said.
Altogether 70.52 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the four Lok Sabha seats which had 44 candidates in the fray.
"A total of 53.06 per cent voting was recorded in four Lok Sabha constituencies of Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui. It was 2.27 per cent higher turnout in these four seats in comparison to 2014 general elections," Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) H R Srinivas told reporters here.
"Polling passed off peacefully with sporadic incidents of EVM tampering, attempt to loot booths after which the police had to resort to firing in the open to disperse and control the anti-social elements," CEO said.
Aurangabad witnessed 49.85 per cent of voting while Gaya recorded 56.0 per cent, Nawada 52.5 per cent and Jamui 54 per cent, Srinivas said adding that the poll percentage of the four constituencies could increase once the final figures reach the state election office here.
Some anti-social elements at polling station number 215 in Kauwakol area under Govindpur assembly segment of Nawada Lok Sabha seat "tried to loot the EVM and damaged the control unit" which affected the polling for a while but voting resumed after some time, the CEO said.
Anti-social elements also tried to loot booth at Siswa in Nawada parliamentary constituency after which police had to resort to firing in the open to disperse them and attempt to disturb poll process was timely foiled by the security forces, he said adding that police had to fire one round in the open in Sheikhpura in Jamui parliamentary constituency where anti-social elements wanted to tamper with EVM.
People at six polling stations boycotted the poll process due to lack of developmental activities in their areas, he said.
Two helicopters and an air ambulance were also pressed into service to keep a tab on the poll process and also to deal with any exigency, he said.
Polling at an election booth in Qadirganj area in Nawada Lok Sabha seat was withheld for some time as the polling officer was found in an inebriated condition, ADG(HQ) Kundan Krishnan said.
Polling began at the booth after the polling officer was arrested, he said.
Of the total 45 arrested persons, 44 were held in Nawada and one in Jamui for vitiating the poll process, the ADG(HQ) said.