The fourth phase of the Bihar elections on Sunday saw a large voter turnout as 57.59% of the 14 million electorate exercised their franchise in 55 assembly constituencies spread over seven districts.
Compared to 2010 polls, the voting percentage recorded an increase of over 3%. The voting percentage in the fourth phase registered little over 1% increase than the votes polled in the first phase of Bihar elections. In the second phase, the voting percentage was recorded at 55%.
Like the previous three phases, women voters again outnumbered men with a turnout of 60.40% against 54.20% male turnout. Polling has now been completed in 186 out of 243 assembly constituencies in the five-phased elections. A clear lead by the BJP-led NDA or the Grand Alliance (GA) in this phase will decide their overall poll prospects to a large extent.
Barring minor clashes, Bihar police chief PK Thakur said the polling was peaceful. Incidents of clash between two groups of rival candidates at Sheohar hampered polling for about half an hour. Group clashes and subsequent firing were reported from Hathauda.
At some places, there were reports of malfunctioning of electronic voting machines. Polling in 12 of the 55 assembly constituencies, mostly Maoist affected, ended at 3 pm.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said 57.59% turnout had been reported from the 55 constituencies in the seven districts. While East Champaran district recorded a maximum turnout of 59.96%, Siwan recorded the lowest turnout of 54.31%.
Voters’ turnout of 59.17% was recorded in West Champaran district, 56.05% in Sheohar, 56.09% in Sitmarhi, 56.83% in Muzaffarpur and 58.90% in Gopalganj. As many as 776 candidates were in the fray in Gopalganj, Siwan, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur districts on Sunday.