Voters stood in long queues Wednesday at polling booths in Bihar as balloting began peacefully for seven Lok Sabha seats in the state, an official said. By-polls for two assembly seats are also being held. As many as 118 candidates are in the fray for the Lok Sabha seats of Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj, Saran, Hajipur and Ujiarpur.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakhshaman said long queues were seen at polling stations despite scorching heat. "It is a good sign as large number of enthusiastic people have come out of their homes to cast their votes, particularly in rural areas. The polling will pick up in next two to three hours," he said.
Lakhshaman said about 8 percent electorate have exercised their democratic right till 9 a.m. "So far polls are peaceful with no report of violence."
Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate and former chief minister Rabri Devi is fighting against Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Saran constituency. In Hajipur, incumbent MP and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) candidate Ram Sundar Das is locked in a battle against Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan. Also, 20 candidates are in contention in the by-polls for two assembly seats - Chiraia and Maharajganj.
Over 10 million electors are eligible to vote at 10,151 polling booths. A total 66,211 poll officials have been deployed to conduct the poll.