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Bihar elections: Stone pelting during Nitish Kumar’s rally in Madhubani

An impressive 53.46 per cent voters had joined the first phase of polling which was held on 71 Assembly seats spread across 16 districts.

SNS | New Delhi |

The second phase of polls in Bihar for 94 seats begins on Tuesday.

Enthusiastic voters had brushed aside their Covid-19 fears to rush to polling booths and cast their votes during the first phase of polling in Bihar.

An impressive 53.46 per cent voters had joined the first phase of polling which was held on 71 Assembly seats spread across 16 districts, mostly identified as Maoist-hit as per police records.

Bihar is the first state to go to polls at the time of Covid-19 pandemic.

The voting percentage can be indeed termed as significant given all odds, such as Covid panic, massive reverse migration in the state and finally huge job losses due to Corona-induced lockdown for some three months leaving lakhs of families economically ruined. In the last 2015 assembly polls, 56.9 percent polling had been recorded, followed by 52.7 percent in 2010, 45.9 percent in October 2005 and 62.6 percent in the year 2000.

Sadly, Covid-19 safety norms went for a toss at several polling booths as both the voters and polling personnel appeared at the polling booths without facemasks, paying scant regard to the Election Commission’s order for maintaining strict guidelines.

For the first phase, 71 constituencies out of 243 went to the polls in which Imamganj, Sasaram, Dinara, Gaya, Munger, Jamui, Mokama, Jamalpur, Chainpur and Buxar were the key constituencies.

For the first phase, a large number of Covid-19 infected people reached the polling booths to cast their votes during the last hour of polling.

According to a report, a total of 212 Corona patients cast their votes in five polling booths of Patna district alone. Transgender candidates too showed enthusiasm to join the poll process and came out clapping happily after casting their votes.

This election in Bihar is a tripartite contest between NDA – comprising BJP and JDU – while the the second and third fronts are led by Tejashwi Yadav’s JDU, supported by Congress, and Chhirag Paswan’s LJP.

However, LJP’s Paswan has maintained that he is against Nitish by has no grudges with BJP.

The political tussle between the leaders of these parties has been evident in the last few days during the election rallies.

Yesterday, Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar had sharpened attack on opposition leaders Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chirag Paswan saying that those who have ‘inherited everything’ have no idea about his work and dedication towards Bihar.

Nitish Kumar in a tweet said, “What did those who inherited everything know about the tenacity of the workmen. We have dedicated ourselves to this sacred land of Bihar. To serve is my religion.”

Earlier, Tejashwi Yadav had asked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to speak on issues of unemployment, law and order, migration and jobs.

In a tweet, Tejashwi Yadav said, “Respected Nitish ji believes that he has ruined the present and future of two generations with the collapse of education, health, industry during 15 years of rule in Bihar, so he never speaks on unemployment, jobs, factories, investment and migration. Should they not speak on these issues?”

Raghopur, Hasanpur, Bankipur, Jhanjharpur, Maner, Begusarai and Govindganj are the key constituencies going to poll in the second phase.

Elections will be held in West Champaran, East Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Araria, Purnea, Kishanganj, Katihar districts in Seemanchal. Besides, other districts like Samastipur, Patna, Vaishali and Muzaffarpur will also go for polls.

According to the Election Commission, more than 2.85 crore voters will decide the electoral fate of 1,463 candidates — 1316 male, 146 female and one transgender.

Of the total 2,85,50,285 voters 1,50,33,034 are male, 1,35,16,271 female and 980 transgender, as per the poll body.

The Election Commission said it has set up a total of 41,362 booths at 18,823 polling stations.

Maharajganj constituency has the maximum 27 candidates in this phase, while the minimum four are from Darauli constituency (SC).

The 94 constituencies which are going to poll on November 3 are in 17 districts.

Bihar elections are being held in three phases  October 28, November 3 and 7 November and the results will be declared on November 10.