Millennium Post

First phase sees 53.54% polling

New Delhi: The pandemic failed to dampen the spirit of Bihar's voters as the state on Wednesday recorded 53.54 per cent polling in the first phase of the Assembly elections. Though, this year's overall poll percentage is slightly less than the 2015 Assembly elections, which was 54.94 per cent, the voter turnout in the districts of Bhagalpur, Banka, Lakhisarai, Shekhpura, Arwal, Aurangabad, Nawada and Jamui was higher than the last year's poll percentage.

However, polling remained peaceful without any major incident or EVM glitches. As per the Bihar Election Commission, polling in the 71 Assembly seats of Bihar continued beyond 6 pm in some of the constituencies.

The highest polling percentage has been recorded in Bhagalpur's Dhauraiya Assembly constituency at 62.50 per cent and minimum 43.80 per cent polling recorded in Sandesh in Bhojpur district.

Among the 16 districts where polling was held on Wednesday, Banka recorded the highest voting at 59.57 per cent followed by Jamui at 57.41 per cent, Gaya at 57.05 per cent and Kaimur at 56.20 per cent. In 2015, Banka had recorded 56.43 per cent voting, Jamui 54.11 per cent, Gaya 57.07 per cent and Kaimur at 59.65 per cent.

Munger district, which witnessed violence over an idol immersion, registered the least voter turnout at 47.36 per cent. The Maoist-hit district had recorded 52.24 per cent turnout in 2015. Out of the 71 constituencies, 35 are in Naxal-hit areas where the polling hour was curtailed, the Bihar poll panel stated.

Polling was conducted till 3 pm in four Naxal-affected constituencies of Chainpur, Nabinagar, Kutumba and Rafiganj, while in the other five Naxal-hit Assembly seats, it went up to 5 pm and in the remaining 26 Maoist-affected constituencies, polling was held till 4 pm.

As per the Bihar poll panel, since the announcement of the elections, 534 arms, 193 cartridges and three bombs were seized from the areas that went to polls in the first phase and as many as 159 people were detained as a preventive measure during the polling on Wednesday.

A case has also been registered against Bihar Agriculture minister Prem Kumar for violating the Model Code of Conduct by entering a polling booth by wearing BJP's symbol embossed mask.

The poll panel had set up 119 model polling stations and deployed 1,708 video cameras.

Meanwhile, while addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said: "In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the corresponding turnout was 53.54 per cent."

As per Bihar poll panel, of the nearly 2.15 crore eligible voters, 1.12 crore are male, 1.01 crore female and 599 are categorised as the third gender.

The important leaders whose fate has been sealed include former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi from Immanganj seat, Commonwealth shooter BJP Shreyasi Singh from Jamui seat, Agriculture minister Prem Kumar from Gaya, Hari Manjhi from Bodh Gaya, Education minister Krishna Nandan Verma from Jehanabad seat among others.

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