First phase of Bihar elections witnesses 53 per cent polling

Supaul, Oct. 21 (ANI): Bihar's 47 Assembly constituencies, spread across seven districts, which underwent poll for the first phase of State Assembly elections on Thursday witnessed 53 per cent polling.

Brisk polling was reported in the eight districts namely-adhubani, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea, Katihar, Madhepura and Saharsa-which underwent poll today.

Held amid tight security arrangements, today's polling concluded peacefully at five o' clock in the evening.

Polling concluded in Naxal-hit Sirmri Bakhtiarpur constituency in Saharsa district at 3 o'clock, an hour before schedule.

Polling picked up as the day progressed with long queues of voters seen before booths.

Special ramps and braille-EVMs were arranged for the physically and visually challenged voters.

Initially, problems in Electronic Voting Machines were reported from a number of booths in Supaul, Kishangaj, Ariria and Katihar, Saharsa and Madhepura districts. But they were promptly attended to and polling continued uninterrupted.

State Chief Electoral Officer S K Rakesh said the Election Commission introduced live webcast at 169 booths and the entire polling process was videographed for the first time.

The Commissioner of Purnia division along with Special Task Force commandos conducted aerial patrol in two helicopters over the eight districts where polling was held.

While 85 percent of booths were manned by central paramilitary forces and armed police from other states, the rest were guarded by the Bihar Military Police.

One hundred nine persons were detained as preventive measures during Thursday's poll.

The electoral fortune of 631 candidates including 52 women were sealed in Electronic Voting Machine after Thursday's voting.

Prominent candidates whose fate to be decided in today's poll, include State Congress Chief Mehboob Ali Kaiser and three state Ministers Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Narendra Narayan Yadav and Renu Kumari.

Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements were put in place to ensure free and fair voting.

Jawans of central para-military forces were also deployed on booths for peaceful poll.

The border of the state with Nepal and West Bengal were sealed to prevent any infiltration of anti social elements.

Jawans of Special Task Force kept air surveillance from helicopters as well to ensure trouble free polls. (ANI)

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