Bihar Election 2020: 56.59% polling recorded till 6 pm; brother of jailed Bittu Singh killed by assailants in Purnia
Meanwhile, Neeraj Kumar Jha, an independent candidate from Benipatti constituency, succumbed to COVID-19 today as the seat in Madhubani area continues to vote in the third and final phase of Assembly election
An estimated 54.17 percent of the total 2.35 crore electors exercised their franchise till 5 pm in the 78 assembly seats of Bihar where polling is underway in the third and final phase of elections on Saturday.
Provisional figures released on the Election Commission's voter turnout app show that the turnout in Kishanganj district was the highest at 59.99 percent till 5 pm while the lowest was in Vaishali, with 49.97 percent electors casting their votes.
In Purnia, one person was reportedly shot by a bike-borne assailant near a polling booth when he was going to cast the ballot.
The deceased, Beni Singh was the brother of Bittu Singh alias Aniket Singh, a youth RJD leader who has several cases against him and was arrested by STF in November of this year, as per India Today.
Locals and the victim's family created a ruckus after the incident, after which the police and other officials arrived at the spot to control the situation. Police was quoted by PTI as saying that the body has been sent to the Sadar Hospital for post-mortem and that security personnel are conducting raids to trace the attacker.
In a separate incident, police said they had to open fire in the air to disperse a crowd from a polling booth at Alinagar village under the Dhamdaha constituency because they were disturbing the poll process.
Meanwhile, Neeraj Kumar Jha, an independent candidate from Benipatti constituency, succumbed to COVID-19 today as the seat in Madhubani area continues to vote in the third and final phase of Assembly elections. Jha had been admitted at AIIMS Patna ten days ago after being infected by the coronavirus.
People boycotted voting at 12 booths in Katihar in protest against barriers not being set up at two railway crossings.
The poll opened at 7 am in the 78 Assembly seats spread across 15 districts of north Bihar. According to the Election Commission, the poll percentage at 3 pm was 45.91, higher than the corresponding figure for the second phase (44.51 percent), but marginally lower than that for the first phase (46.29 percent).
The maximum turnout of 51.12 percent till 4 pm has been recorded in Supaul district, and the minimum in Darbhanga (41.15 percent).
In terms of polling percentage Supaul (51.12 percent) is followed by Saharsa (48.98 percent), Muzaffarpur (48.43 percent), Kishanganj (47.55 percent), Purvi Champaran (47.46 percent), Purnia (46.46 percent), Vaishali (46.34 percent), Madhepura (46.33 percent), Pashchim Champaran (45.58 percent), Samastipur (45.05 percent), Madhubani (44.96 percent), Sitamarhi (44.65 percent), Araria (43.22 percent), Katihar (43.11 percent), and Darbhanga (41.15 percent).
Voting has concluded in the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat, where a bypoll was necessitated due to the death of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto. It had recorded a turnout of 45.58 percent till 3 pm.
In Araria, instructions were issued to lodge an FIR against the RJD candidate from Jokihat seat, Sarfaraz Alam, after he turned up for voting with a party badge pinned in his shirt.
Alam is the elder son of former Union minister Mohammad Taslimuddin and is pitted against his younger brother Mohammad Sahnawaz, who is in the fray as a candidate of the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM party.
Madhepura district's Bihariganj, from where veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav's daughter Subhashini Yadav is making her poll debut on a Congress seat, has recorded a polling percentage of 48.30 till 3 pm.
Subhashini stood in a queue to cast her vote at a polling booth in Madhepura. After casting her vote, the 30-year-old said her father, who represented Madhepura multiple times in Lok Sabha, has worked honestly for the development of the constituency and that is why he is respected by people of all religions and castes.
Speaker of the outgoing Assembly Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and about one dozen ministers of the Nitish Kumar cabinet are in the fray in this round of voting. Minister Suresh Sharma cast his vote in Muzaffarpur.
The coronavirus pandemic failed to dampen the voters' enthusiasm as several elderly and differently-abled electors, some assisted by their kin, some by security personnel and some others by volunteers, came out to vote in large numbers.
The Election Commission had set up multiple model polling centres. A polling station in Saharsa has been beautifully decorated. The poll panel has also set up selfie points for people to click themselves after casting their votes.
Some wheelchair-bound voters were also facilitated to cast the ballot. However, COVID-19 guidelines were being violated at several polling booths.
With inputs from PTI
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