An FIR was lodged against Lalu Prasad's daughter Misa Bharti, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) nominee for the Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat, on Thursday after an election official accused her of pushing him and disturbing the polling process.
"Misa Bharti has been booked on the charge of obstructing government work", Danapur sub-divisional officer (SDO) Rahul Kumar told HT on Thursday evening, confirming that an FIR had been registered against her in this connection at the Bihta police station in the Pataliputra constituency.
Kumar also confirmed that serious charges of breaking an EVM at polling booth No. 34 in Bikram assembly segment of Pataliputra had been attributed to "anti-social elements", not to Bharti.
The Danapur SDO had told HT earlier that presiding officer Sheo Pujan Jha of Booth 34 in Bikram had complained Misa had pushed him around and then broke the EVM. The FIR was instituted after a probe into the charges.
Television reports, on the other hand, quoted Lalu Prasad as saying it was the presiding officer who broke the EVM after Misa complained to him about alleged vote rigging at the booth.
"We will lodge a case against the polling official(s) concerned,” the reports quoted Prasad as saying.
Spokesperson of the RJD, Manoj Jha, had earlier denied the allegations against Bharti. He claimed she had only expressed protest before the polling official over alleged capturing of the booth (by her rival candidate's supporters).
Bharti, who holds an MBBS degree from the Patna University, already has a case registered against her under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 171 (F) (Punishment for undue influence or personation at an election) of Indian Penal Code and being heard in a Danapur court, her affidavit said.
The 39-year-old is fighting from Pataliputra against two seasoned politicians once considered her father's close aides — the BJP's current nominee Ram Kripal Yadav and sitting MP Ranjan Prasad Yadav of the JD (U).
An official of the state electoral department said 51.73% votes had been cast by 5pm for seven Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, where polling took place in second phase of polling in the state on Thursday.
The voting percentage for the Pataliputra seat was 51.5% by 5 pm. More than 11 million voters, including more than five million women, will choose from among a total of 117 candidates who are in the fray in the second phase of polling in the state.