A total of 53% votes were cast till 4pm in six parliamentary constituencies in Bihar which went to the polls on Thursday even as two CRPF troopers were killed in a landmine blast in Munger district.
The Election Commission in a statement said that the Sasaram (SC) seat registered 54% polling, while neighbouring Karakat recorded 51%. Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar is the Congress candidate from Sasaram.
Aurangabad witnessed 47.5% voting, while it was 51.64% in Gaya(SC), 49% in Nawada and 49% in Jamui(SC), the statement said.
Voting ended at 4pm in many parts of the constituencies which are Maoist-hit, while it will conclude at 6pm in other places.
A little over 94 lakh voters are eligible to elect from among 80 candidates, including 10 women, who are in the fray in Maoist-hit constituencies.
Violence erupted in several parts of the state. Two Central Reserve Police Force troopers were killed in a landmine blast in Munger district when they were on way to a polling station in neighbouring Jamui parliamentary constituency.
The blast was triggered by suspected rebels near Sawa Lakh Baba Mandir, close to Bhimbandh forest in Munger, about 175 km from Patna.
Additional director general of police Ravinder Kumar said the injured security personnel were admitted to a hospital.
After the incident, the Jamui district administration cancelled election at 12 polling booths.
Security forces also recovered two IEDs from the spot.
Also, five can bombs — two in Gaya and three in Aurangabad parliamentary constituencies — were recovered from near polling booths.
In another incident, suspected Maoists blasted a state-run school in Bihar's Lakhisarai district, police said, adding three live cane bombs were also recovered from the school premises.
"Maoists blasted school in Lakhisarai to create panic in neighbouring Jamui parliamentary constituency," a district police official said.
Bihar chief secretary AK Sinha said a total of 46,000 security personnel, including 22,000 home guards, 74 companies of Bihar Military Police and 163 companies of central para-military forces, have been deployed on election duty.
Sinha said three army helicopters at the disposal of the state government are being used in air surveillance of Maoist-affected areas.
Voting was put off for a future date in 22 polling stations of Jamui (SC) and Nawada seats in Maoist-hit areas due to security reasons.
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Prominent candidates in the fray are: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for Sasaram seat, Bihar assembly Speaker Uday Narain Choudhary from Jamui, former Kerala governor and Delhi Police chief Nikhil Kumar from Aurangabad, actor-turned politician Chirag Paswan from Jamui, and former Union minister Kanti Singh from Karakat.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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