Voting was underway on Thursday in by-polls for seven assembly constituencies in Bihar amid high security. It is seen as a mini referendum for the Janata Dal-United government ahead of state assembly polls slated for next year.
The seven constituencies where by-polls are underway are Warisnagar, Kalyanpur, Bochaha, Chenari, Aurai, Chainpur and Ramgarh.
Officials in the police headquarters in Patna said the polls began on a peaceful note and there was no report of violence. State election department officials said around 20 per cent turnout was recorded till noon.
The second phase of by-polls for 11 more assembly seats will be held Sep 15.
The by-polls were necessitated to fill up the seats vacated mostly by sitting legislators to contest the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
Though the campaign was dull, star campaigners of all political parties tried to woo voters in favour of their candidates.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD-U national president Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ramvilas Paswan and several central ministers and Congress leaders campaigned for the by-polls.