Voting began on Wednesday morning in Bihar's crucial fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election in seven constituencies. By-polls for two assembly seats are also being held.
This phase will decide the fate of 118 candidates, including LJP president Ramvilas Paswan and Rabri Devi, former state Chief Minister Lalu Prasad's wife. Paswan and Rabri are contesting from Hajipur (SC) and Saran respectively, both situated in the Gangetic plains of Bihar. The other five seats are Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj and Ujiyarpur.
Polling would also be held in Chiraiya and Maharajganj assembly constituencies in this phase, where 20 candidates are in the fray.
Five of the seven Lok Sabha seats going to the poll had been won by JD(U) in 2009 while Saran and Maharajganj had gone to RJD.
Over 1.08 crore voters are expected to cast their votes in 9,804 polling stations amidst elaborate security arrangement. The Indo-Nepal border has been sealed for the purpose. Two helicopters will carry out air surveillance while 66,211 jawans will man the polling stations.
A total 145 companies of the central paramilitary forces are also lined up for poll duty besides seven units of the mounted police, 36 motor boats, motorized boats and 375 motorcycles for patrolling in riverine areas.