18 to 20 pc polling in first 4 hrs in Bihar | india | Hindustan Times
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18 to 20 pc polling in first 4 hrs in Bihar

india Updated: Oct 21, 2010 16:34 IST

PTI
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36 pc voting till 2 pm, 150 arrested

Amid tight security, an estimated 36 per cent of electorate cast their ballots till 2 pm on Thursday in 47 of Bihar's 243 assembly constituencies in the first phase of polling which was by-and-large peaceful with police arresting 150 people.

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, Director General of Police Neelmani said.

"Voting is totally peaceful," the DGP said.

He said that 150 people were arrested on charges of electoral malpractices and for trying to disturb peace.

While 85 per cent of booths were being manned by central paramilitary forces and armed police from other states, the remaining were being guarded by the Bihar Military Police, the DGP said.

A bomb exploded outside a booth at Laukha in Madhubani district, but there was no injury, police sources said.

A presiding officer died of cardiac arrest at a booth at Pranpur in Katihar district before polling. A replacement was sent and polling for held on schedule, the sources said.

The presiding officer at Chhathapur in Supaul district was beaten up by local people for allegedly playing partisan role, the sources said.

Five security personnel were injured when a tractor-trolley carrying them overturned at Phulparas in Madhubani district.

State Chief Electoral Officer S K Rakesh said the EC has introduced live webcast at 169 booths and the entire process was being videographed.

There were special ramps and braille-EVMs for the physically and visually challenged voters, he said.

Initially, problems in EVMs 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, the sources said.

Long queues of voters were seen since the polling began at 0700 hrs.

A report from Kishanganj said voters boycotted the polling at a booth in Bahadurganj constituency and at another polling station at Kochadhaman.

People boycotted polling for some time at a booth alleging that a presiding officer had influenced a voter to cast his vote in favour of a candidate in Kishanganj.

Reports of election boycott were also received from a couple of booths in Alamnagar, Jokihat, Laukaha constituencies with voters staying away claiming that no development work had been done.

A relative of CPI-M candidate in Purnia, Amit Sarkar, alleged that she was pressurised by a securityman to vote for BJP. Her complaint was being looked into, an EC official said.

Prominent among the 631 contestants in the fray are senior Janata Dal (United) ministers Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Narendra Narain Yadav, Renu Kumari, Hari Prasad Sah, Congress nominee Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, state Congress chief Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser and Lovely Anand, the wife of former MP Anand Mohan.

Around 1.07 crore, including 50.2 lakh women and 3,829 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise at 10,454 polling centres spread over the constituencies. PTI AJK PC rt SMI36 pc voting till 1400 hrs, 150 arrested

Patna, Oct 21 (PTI) Amid tight security, an estimated 36 per cent of electorate cast their ballots till 1400 hrs today in 47 of Bihar's 243 assembly constituencies in the first phase of polling which was by-and-large peaceful with police arresting 150 people.

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, Director General of Police Neelmani said.

"Voting is totally peaceful," the DGP said.

He said that 150 people were arrested on charges of electoral malpractices and for trying to disturb peace.

While 85 per cent of booths were being manned by central paramilitary forces and armed police from other states, the remaining were being guarded by the Bihar Military Police, the DGP said.

A bomb exploded outside a booth at Laukha in Madhubani district, but there was no injury, police sources said.

A presiding officer died of cardiac arrest at a booth at Pranpur in Katihar district before polling. A replacement was sent and polling for held on schedule, the sources said.

The presiding officer at Chhathapur in Supaul district was beaten up by local people for allegedly playing partisan role, the sources said.

Five security personnel were injured when a tractor-trolley carrying them overturned at Phulparas in Madhubani district.

State Chief Electoral Officer S K Rakesh said the EC has introduced live webcast at 169 booths and the entire process was being be videographed.

There were special ramps and braille-EVMs for the physically and visually challenged voters, he said.

Initially, problems in EVMs 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, the sources said.

Long queues of voters were seen since the polling began at 0700 hrs.

A report from Kishanganj said voters boycotted the polling at a booth in Bahadurganj constituency and at another polling station at Kochadhaman.

People boycotted polling for some time at a booth alleging that a presiding officer had influenced a voter to cast his vote in favour of a candidate in Kishanganj.

Reports of election boycott were also received from a couple of booths in Alamnagar, Jokihat, Laukaha constituencies with voters staying away claiming that no development work had been done.

A relative of CPI-M candidate in Purnia, Amit Sarkar, alleged that she was pressurised by a securityman to vote for BJP. Her complaint was being looked into, an EC official said.

Prominent among the 631 contestants in the fray are senior Janata Dal (United) ministers Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Narendra Narain Yadav, Renu Kumari, Hari Prasad Sah, Congress nominee Ranjeet Ranjan, wife of former MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, state Congress chief Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser and Lovely Anand, the wife of former MP Anand Mohan.

Around 1.07 crore, including 50.2 lakh women and 3,829 service voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise at 10,454 polling centres spread over the constituencies.