By Dheeraj Kumar
Patna: Electorates in four extremists hit Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar today paid no heed to poll boycott calls from dreaded Maoists and turned up in huge number at polling booths increasing overall voting percentage by 2.27 percent in comparison to 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Bihar Chief Electoral Officer H R Srinivas told newspersons here that overall voter turnout was 50.79 percent in 2014 Lok Sabha election against 53.06 percent this time.
Jamui Lok Sabha constituency, considered as the worst hit extremist area of the state, also witnessed significant improvement in voter turnout from 48.81 percent to 54 percent even as it increased from 51.75 to 52.50 percent in Nawada constituency and from 52.52 percent to 56 percent in Gaya constituency. Only exception was Aurangabad constituency where voter turnout dropped from 50.08 percent to 49.85 percent.
The slight drop in voter turnout in Aurangabad constituency is mainly attributed to prior engagement of devotees particularly women in ongoing Chaiti Chhath festival.
CEO Srinivasa said that a polling person was arrested at Nadriganj in Nawada Lok Sabha constituency. He said that three can bombs were also recovered in Gaya district.
He said that 44 people were arrested in Nawada district and one person in Jamui district for creating disturbance in polling process. He said that two helicopters were pressed into service to keep a watch on extremists during polling. An air ambulance was also kept to deal any emergency like situation.
With deployment of central para military forces and state police personnel, all attempts of extremists to create disturbance during the polling were frustrated.
Nearly 70.66 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first phase of Lok Sabha election in Bihar to decide fate of 44 candidates.
Srinivas said that voters boycotted poll at polling booth number 89 in Sherghati assembly constituency, at polling booth number 89 in Bodh Gaya assembly constituency, at polling booth in Wazirganj assembly constituency under Gaya Lok Sabha constituency and polling booth numbers 129 and 130 in Sikandara assembly constituency under Jamui Lok Sabha constituency. Voters boycotted the poll at these booths on issues related to development.
Srinivas said that the voting also passed off peacefully in by election to Nawada assembly constituency. At least 52 percent voters exercised their franchise in the assembly segment.
LJP is contesting from Nawada and Jamui, JD (U) is contesting from Gaya and BJP is contesting from Aurangabad in NDA while HAM is contesting from Gaya and Aurangabad, RLSP is contesting from Jamui and RJD is contesting from Nawada seat in Grand Alliance in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Prominent candidates whose fates were sealed in EVMs are– former Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) from Aurangabad, LJP MP and chairman of parliamentary board of the party Chirag Paswan from Jamui, Bhudeo Chaudhary of RLSP from Jamui and sitting BJP MP Sushil Kumar Singh from Aurangabad seat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and sitting MP from Patna Sahib Shatrughna Sinha who had recently joined Congress addressed a series of election meetings in high-voltage campaign. RJD chief Lalu Prasad languishing in jail in Ranchi after being convicted in fodder scam, is away from hurly-burly of elections and charm of his own style of campaigning is missing.
State-wise first phase voter turnout
State Voter turnout in %
Andaman & Nicobar 70.67
Andhra Pradesh 56
Arunachal Pradesh 66
Uttar Pradesh 64
West Bengal 81