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Lok Sabha elections: Over 50% vote in Bihar till 4 pm

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 5:33pm IST | Place: Patna | Agency: IANS

More than half of the electorate on Wednesday voted in seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar, even as people in many villages boycotted the election protesting power shortage and deficient infrastructure.

Voting took place for Madhepura, Jhanjharpur, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Begusarai and Khagaria Lok Sabha seats. A by-poll is also being held for the Sahebpur Kamal state assembly seat.

Additional chief electoral officer R. Lakshmanan said 50.39% of the voters had cast their ballot till 4 pm.

"So far, polling has been peaceful with no report of violence," he said.

Long queues of people, including women and youth and mostly first time voters, were seen at polling booths since morning. The voters were particularly excited in rural areas.

"Voting is likely to pick up in the last two hours," Lakshmanan added.

Krishna Paswan, an independent candidate from Darbhanga, was arrested on charges of luring voters.

At several places in Begusarai, Samastipur and Khagaria, villagers boycotted the polls saying they will not vote if there are no roads and no electricity.

As many as 94 candidates are in the fray. Prominent among them are Sharad Yadav and Pappu Yadav from Madhepura, Hukum Deo Narain Yadav from Madhubani, Ali Ashraf Fatmi and Kirti Azad from Darbhanga.

More than 11 million people are eligible to vote at 10,157 polling booths.

A total of 58,215 poll officials have been deployed.

This is the fourth round of polling in the state that sends 40 lawmakers to parliament.

In the last polls in 2009, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United had won five of these seven seats while its then ally Bharatiya Janata Party had won two.

Both parties are contesting the polls without each other for the first time since 1996 after the JD-U ended its 17-year alliance with the BJP last year.




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