Patna: About 54 per cent voters cast their votes till 5 PM in the third phase of the Bihar Assembly elections involving 48 constituencies spread over East Champaran, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Saran, Siwan and Vaishali districts.
The data released by Bihar Chief Electoral Officer’s office showed the percentage of voting at 54 per cent when polling closed. The districts of East Champaran and West Champaran recorded 57 and 58 per cent polling respectively.
The polling was lower in Gopalganj (51 per cent), Siwan (52 per cent), Saran (50 per cent) and Vaishali (54 per cent).
Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani said that a constable, identified as Pramod Pandey, created a flutter in a booth in Gopalganj town while he was allegedly in an inebriated state and was detained for causing inconvenience to voters.
In Bettiah Assembly constituency, where state minister and BJP candidate Renu Devi is in the fray, voters did not turn up at booth nos. 119 and 120 as they have decided to boycott the polls due to “the state’s apathy towards their problems”.
Polling began on Thursday morning for 48 constituencies amidst tight security. It’s an acid test for the BJP-JD(U) combine which won 27 of the 48 seats here last election.
An electorate of 1.03 crore, including 47.56 lakh women, are eligible to vote for 785 candidates, including 65 women.
Prominent politicians in the fray in this phase are Leader of the Opposition and former chief minister and RJD Chief Lalu Yadav’s wife Rabri Devi, who is contesting from Raghopur in Vaishali district and Sonepur in Saran district.
Also, in the fray is Lalu Yadav’s brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav who left the RJD to join the Congress Party.
Others key contestants are state JD(U) ministers Brishen Patel (Vaishali) and Vyasdeo Prasad (Siwan), Gautam Singh (Manjhi), besides BJP ministers Renu Devi (Bettiah), Ramchandra Sahni (Sugauli) and Rampravesh Rai (Barauli).