Over 56% voting was registered today in seven Lok Sabha seats of Bihar in the fifth phase of elections in the state which also witnessed death of one person in police firing outside a booth.
Sheohar registered 55.5% voting, Sitamarhi 54%, Muzaffarpur 61.92%, Maharajganj 53%, Saran 56%, Hajipur (SC reserved) 56% and Ujiyarpur 56%, the Election Office statement said.
Despite impressive turnout of voters in the morning, the percentage did not increase later in the day and voting on two high profile seats of Saran and Hajipur (SC, Reserved) saw 56% polling each.
While RJD president Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi is pitted against BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Saleem Parvez of JD(U) at Saran, LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan is in the fray from the Hajipur (SC) seat.
One person was killed in police firing outside a booth in Ramnagara village under Bathnaha police station area in Sitamarhi district during voting in the day, police said.
Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Ravindra Kumar told reporters that a woman was stopped from casting bogus votes following which a large number of villagers gathered and started quarrelling with the policemen.
During this an effort was made to snatch the rifle of a policeman which prompted him to open fire resulting in the death of 40-year-old Khobhari Rai, the ADG said.
Following the incident, the villagers gheraoed booth number 224 at the primary school and took the election officials hostage. The situation was brought under control after District Magistrate Pratima and Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kumar Sinha reached the spot. There were instances of unpleasant incidents from elsewhere too. In Saran, a bomb was found about 500 metres from a polling station in Marhaura which was defused. There were reports of fracas between workers of RJD and BJP in Sonepur Assembly area which is part of Saran Lok Sabha constituency.
In Muzaffarpur, two low intensity bombs exploded in a field in Karathua village near a booth, police sources said. Bypoll at Chiraia and Maharajganj Assembly seats witnessed 54% and 55% voting respectively, Election Office sources said.
There were some encouraging scenes during the day. In Hajipur, a 100-year-old man was brought on a charpoy to a polling station to vote.
In Samastipur, people were seen riding horses and on elephant back to cast their votes.