Patna, April 23 (IANS) More than 55 per cent voting was recorded till 5 p.m. on Tuesday for the five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in the third phase of parliamentary elections amid a few incidents of clashes and malfunctioning of EVMs, officials said.
In Madhepura, 54 per cent voting was recorded, in Supaul 57 and Araria 57 per cent each, Khagaria 56 per cent and Jhanjgarpur 50 percent.
According to officials at Bihar Chief electoral office here, the voting has been peaceful and there are no reports of violence, except some clashes between supporters of rival parties,” said a senior official at the police headquarters in the state capital.
In Araria, voting was stopped at three polling booths as police used canes to disperse a mob, injuring four women voters. Polling later resumed.
The polling was proceeding smoothly except for some minor clashes between supporters of rival parties.
Technical glitches in EVMs reportedly delayed balloting process in Khagaria, Madhepura and Araria, which will see over 88 lakh voters deciding the fate of 82 candidates, along with Supaul and Jhanjharpur — all of which are in Koshi and Seemanchal region.
Heavy security arrangements have been made at the polling booths. Three helicopters are providing air cover.
Prominent candidates in the fray are Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Sharad Yadav (Madhepura), who is pitted against Pappu Yadav; Congress’ Ranjeet Ranjan (Supaul); RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam (Araria) and LJP’s Mahboob Ali Qaiser (Khagaria).
The first phase of polls for 4 seats was held on April 11 in Gaya, Nawada, Jamui and Aurangabad parliamentary constituencies. All of these are areas affected by Maoist violence. The second phase of polls for 5 seats was held on April 18 in Seemanchal and Ang region.