Around 7.45 per cent polling was recorded in Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, while 8.14 per cent was registered in bypolls to five Assembly seats in the state in the first two hours of voting, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer said. Polling to the seats began at 7 am on Monday amid tight security.
A total of 32,27,282 voters including 17,00,333 males, 15,26,867 females and 82 of the third gender would decide the fates of 51 candidates, including six women, in 3,258 polling stations.
Barring stray incidents of malfunctioning of the EVMs, polling is underway peacefully at Samastipur Lok Sabha seat and Kishanganj, Simri Bakhtiarpur, Nathnagar, Belhar and Daraundha Assembly constituencies in the state, officials said.
Simri Bakhtiarpur recorded the highest turnout of voters at 11 per cent, followed by 9.76 per cent in Belhar, eight per cent in Kishanganj and seven per cent each in Nathnagar and Daraundha in the first two hours of polling, the office of the CEO said.
Around 4.25 per cent voting was recorded till 8 am in the five Assembly constituencies, it said, adding, Samastipur Lok Sabha seat witnessed three per cent by 8 am.
"No untoward incident has been reported from any of these constituencies so far except initial reports of EVM malfunctioning at a few places. Voting began after rectifying the technical problems," the officials said.
Polling will end at 5 pm in Kishanganj, Nathnagar and Daraundha constituencies while Simri Bakhtiarpur and Belhar seats will witness casting of votes till 4 pm.
Samastipur Lok Sabha seat will witness polling till 5 pm in five of its Assembly seats while voting in one segment -- Kusheshwar Asthan -- will end at 4 pm.
Central para-military forces, Bihar Military Police and Special Auxiliary Police jawans have been deployed at all the 3,258 polling stations.
The fate of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan's nephew Prince Raj and Congress nominee Ashok Ram will be decided at the bypoll to the Samastipur constituency. Of the 51 candidates in the fray in the by-polls, four each are from the JD(U) and the RJD and one each from the BJP and the LJP.
The CPI has put up three candidates while the Congress has fielded two nominees. Some 24 independent candidates are also in the fray.