Polling for the first phase of elections in the Bihar Assembly elections gathered momentum on Wednesday afternoon. Voting started at a sluggish pace due to technical glitches at some of the polling booths.

Keeping in mind the Coronavirus pandemic and fear of violence in areas affected by Maoist extremists, voting was far from brisk in the morning hours.

At 3 pm, the Election Commission has registered 46.29 per cent voting in 16 districts with Jamui leading the turnout with 49.88 per cent voting, followed by Lakhisarai with 49.84 per cent voting. Buxar clocked a 48.91 per cent voting turnout, Aurangabad 48.69 per cent and Gaya 48.14 per cent.

Besides these constituencies, the voter turnout in Bhagalpur was 45.41 per cent, Banka 47.44 per cent, Munger 41.93 per cent, Shekhpura 41.67 per cent, Patna 45.77 per cent, Bhojpur 43.08 per cent, Rohtas 43.79 per cent, Arwal 42.43 per cent, Jahanabad 44.21 per cent and Nawada 45.70 per cent.

Violent incidents were reported in some parts of Bihar including in Kaimur district where two groups comprising more than 50 people attacked each other.

They were dispersed by para military force personnel. The situation is now under control. Tekari is another place apart from Ara where an altercation between supporters of two alliances was reported.

Election for the first phase is currently underway in 16 districts of Bihar including some districts that are perceived as Maoist-dominated.

The Election Commission has established 31,380 polling booths in these districts. There are 1,066 candidates are testing their luck in the first phase.