Patna: About 12 percent electorate cast their votes till 10 am in the bypolls for one Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats in Bihar on Sunday, where the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and the opposition RJD-Congress alliance are locked in a battle.
The bye-elections are being held for Araria Lok Sabha seat and, Jehanabad and Bhabhua Assembly constituencies.
According to election commission sources, the polling is so far peaceful.
In Araria parliamentary constituency, seven candidates are in the fray. Former BJP MP Pradeep Kumar Singh is seeking to regain the seat from the RJD which has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, the death of whose father Mohammed Taslimuddin has necessitated the bypoll.
In Jehanabad, the RJD hopes to retain the Assembly seat that fell vacant after the death of Mundrika Yadav. The party has given ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.
A total of 14 candidates are in the fray though the contest is mainly between the RJD nominee and JD(U)'s Abhiram Sharma who had won the seat in the 2010 Assembly polls.
The BJP is hopeful of retaining the Bhabhua Assembly seat riding on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey whose death at the age of 48 necessitated the bypoll.
The saffron party has fielded Pandey's wife Rinky Rani and her principal challenger is Congress candidate Shambhu Singh Patel. The total number of candidates in the fray in Bhabhua is 17.
Counting of votes will take place on 14 March.
The bye-elections are being watched with much eagerness as this is the first electoral battle in the state since last year's political realignment when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD(U), walked out of the Grand Alliance and rejoined the BJP-led NDA.
Nitish Kumar likely to meet top BJP leaders in Delhi, discuss seat-sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections
Prashant Kishor joins JD(U): Election strategist has worked on campaigns for BJP, Congress, JD(U) in the past
JD(U) seeks 'respectable number' as talks on seat sharing for Lok Sabha polls enter final stages