Phase II: 55% voter turnout in 6 naxal districts in Bihar

RSTV Bureau
Bodhgaya: A polling booth  wear deserted look after people boycotts polls  in Bagdha village near Bodhgaya in Gaya district during the second phase of Assembly elections of Bihar on Friday. PTI Photo

Bodhgaya: A polling booth wears deserted look after people boycott polls in Bagdha village near Bodhgaya in Gaya district during the second phase of Assembly elections of Bihar on Friday. PTI Photo

Voting has ended in the second phase in Bihar. 32 constituencies spread over 6 naxal-hit districts polled in the second phase to decide the fate of 456 candidates.

An overall 55 per cent voter turnout has been registered in the second phase, the Election Commission has said. The districts of Gaya, Rohtas, Arwal, Kaimur, Jahanabad and Aurangabad polled on Friday. In phase I of polls, the overall voting for 49 constituencies stood at 57.4 per cent.

On Friday, no major instance of violence was reported. However a cane bomb is said to have been found by a security personnel near a polling station in Rafiganj constituency.

Polling is peaceful in the state as we have not received any information of untoward incident so far,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told PTI.

Massive security arrangements were in place for the polling. Like in phase I, paramilitary forces manned the polling booths across the state. The responsibility of patrolling was with the local police. Aerial surveillance of sensitive polling stations was also done and drones were being used to keep vigil. Video surveillance at polling booths was being monitored and flying squad teams were in place to address any complaints. Land mine protection vehicles too were deployed in these naxal affected areas.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Bihar CM, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who cast his vote from Imamganj constituency has alleged that a number of names of scheduled castes voters have been removed from the voters list.

“We have received information that names of scheduled castes have been removed from polling station located at project high school and polling station located at middle school in Dumraon village of Imamganj Assembly constituency,” Manjhi told PTI on the phone from Imamganj.

Party spokesman Danish Rizwan has lodged a complaint with Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak, Manjhi explained.

The high voltage campaign for the second phase of elections in Bihar ended on Wednesday evening that saw rallies by several leaders from the state and the Centre. PM Narendra Modi along with BJP President Amit Shah extensively campaigned for the NDA along with state leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Nand Kishore Yadav, hitting out at their opponent the Grand Alliance. The Grand Alliance which is seen as an anti-Modi bloc, has for the first time brought rivals RJD and JD(U) together. RJD chief Lalu Prasad has joined hands with JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, along with the Congress to counter the growing presence of NDA in the region. The Grand Alliance has declared Nitish Kumar as its CM face whereas the BJP has not zeroed in on a CM candidate.

All along both sides raked up the caste issue and indulged in extreme mudslinging while campaigning. And they also claimed to fight the polls on the plank of development.

(With inputs from PTI)