Moderate voting in Bihar by-polls
Posted on Aug 21 2014 | IANS
Patna, Aug 21 : Voting in by-elections in 10 assembly constituencies in Bihar ended peacefully Thursday with a voter turnout of 46.42 percent, officials said.
Polling started at 7 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. with no untoward incident reported despite apprehensions of violence in the Maoist-affected three constituencies where balloting ended at 4 p.m., said Additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakshmanan.
The 10 constituencies where by-polls were held were Narkatiaganj, Rajnagar, Jale, Chapra, Hajipur, Mohiuddinnagar, Parbatta, Bhagalpur, Banka and Mohania.
A total of 2,642,407 voters in the 10 constituencies were eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 94 candidates, including five women.
"Only a few incidents of minor clashes between supporters of rival groups were reported from a few places," a police officer said.
Polling was slow in the first few hours but picked up pace in the afternoon.
"Voters were seen queuing up to exercise their franchise in most of the constituencies after 7 a.m.," an official said.
Additional Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said elaborate security arrangements were made and paramilitary personnel were deployed in the Maoist-affected areas.
Political observers said the main fight was between the ruling Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance with the Lok Janshakti Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.