Patna: Around 21.52 per cent of 1.38 crore voters exercised their franchise in the first four hours of polling in eight Lok Sabha seats of Bihar in the sixth phase, Sunday, election officials said.
A polling officer was killed at a polling station in a freak incident of firing by a home guard before polling started in Sheohar Lok Sabha seat. The home guard was cleaning his gun when it went off.
A few incidents of malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were reported from various booths and that delayed the polling process between 30 to 90 minutes, the officials said.
Vaishali recorded the highest voter turnout at 25.50 per cent, followed by 22.50 per cent in East Champaran, 21.80 per cent in West Champaran, 21.50 in Valmikinagar, 21.20 per cent in Sheohar, 21 per cent in Siwan, 20.60 in Gopalganj and 18.30 per cent in Maharajganj.
“Polling has been peaceful with no untoward incidents reported from any of these constituencies so far except initial reports of EVM malfunctioning from a few places. Voting in those booths began after rectifying the technical problems,” an election official said.
Meanwhile the deceased polling officer who was injured when the home guard’s gun went off was admitted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injury. He has been identified as Shivendra Kishore. The home guard was arrested, police said.
Prominent candidates whose electoral fates will be decided during Sunday’s polling include Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh (East Champaran), senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (Vaishali), RJD’s Heena Shahab (Siwan) who is the wife of Siwan strongman and former MP Mohammad Shahabuddin, BJP sitting MPs Rama Devi (Sheohar), Janardan Singh Sigriwal (Maharajganj) and Sanjay Jaiswal (West Champaran).