44.45% voter turnout in Bihar amidst poll boycott call

44.45% voter turnout in Bihar amidst poll boycott call

Patna: Ignoring Maoists’ poll boycott call, an estimated 44.45% voters exercised their franchise in 42 Assembly constituencies in Bihar till 3:00 PM amid minor incidents of violence.

These constituencies, having an electorate of over 10 crore, figured in the fourth-phase of the ongoing Assembly polls in the state.

Maoists triggered a blast near a bridge on the Chakai-Jamui main road in Batia jungle, but none was injured, Director General of Police Neelmani said.

The Maoists fled after BSF commandos retaliated, he said.

A woman was injured when some unidentified persons set off two bombs near a booth in Danapur Assembly constituency, Neelmani said, adding, four persons were arrested.

Over 145 persons were arrested from different constituencies and 45 vehicles seized during polling hours, he said.

In the Naxal belt covering Alauli (SC), Suryagarha, Tarapur, Jamalpur, Katoria (SC), Belhar, Sinkandra (SC), Begusarai, Bakhri, Jamui, Jhajha, Teghra, Bachwara and Chakai, voting concluded at 3:00 PM with a heavy turnout of voters, who defied the poll boycott call.

FIRs were lodged against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi for entering a booth here to cast their votes with security men in tow in violation of the model code of conduct.

The FIRs were registered by block development officer of Digha Ashok Kumar with the Patna airport police station,a senior official said.

The couple were accompanied by son Tejpratap and daughter Ragini.

On a similar charge, the authorities filed an FIR against transport minister and JD(U) candidate Ram Nandan Singh for taking two guards inside a booth while casting his vote at Gogri under Parbatta constituency in Khagaria district.

FIRs were also registered against Singh’s two sons and a supporter for clashing with rivals near Nayagaon in the district.

Five policemen were injured in a road accident in Munger, the DGP said.

Defects in EVMs were reported from some booths in Bhagalpur and Banka districts, but were promptly attended to, official sources said.

There are 568 candidates, including 58 women in the fray in this phase.

In Banka Lok Sabha seat, which is having a bypoll, Putul Singh, wife of former union minister Digvijay Singh, is locked in a straight fight with RJD’s Jaiprakash Narain Yadav. The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of Singh.