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54% turnout for third phase

india Updated: Oct 29, 2010 00:26 IST
Ashok Mishra
Ashok Mishra
Hindustan Times
Ashok Mishra

The Maoist boycott call again became a hollow cry in the Bihar elections, with the voter turnout on Thursday being higher than in the previous round on October 24.

An estimated 54% of the electorate queued up at the booths in the 48 assembly constituencies that went to polls under tight security arrangements. On October 24, the turnout was 52% and on the first day of polling on October 21, the turnout was as much as Thursday's.

Barring some skirmishes, the elections passed off peacefully in all the constituencies spread over East Champaran, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran and Vaishali districts. An old woman died at a booth at Dindayalpur in Siwan district.

In Bettiah, the voters did not turn up at two booths to protest against the Bihar government's "apathy towards them" in the past five years. The turnout of Muslim voters was substantial in Gopalganj, Siwan, East Champaran and West Champaran. A sizeable number of burqa-clad women were seen at the queues even before the polling began at 7 am.

A police constable created commotion at a booth in Gopalganj town by appearing in a drunken state and was detained. Polling officer Keshav Kumar Pandey was arrested for being in an inebriated condition in Gopalganj.

Though there were allegations of voter-intimidation in Gopalganj and Saran, DGP Neelmani denied them.