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Nearly 50 pc voting in fifth phase of Bihar polls

November 09, 2010 18:09 IST

Defying a poll boycott call, an estimated 49.84 per cent voters exercised their franchise on Tuesday in 35 assembly constituencies in the fifth phase of Bihar assembly elections amid stray incidents of violence.

Of the 17 Maoist-hit constituencies, Rajauli recorded 47 per cent voting, Gobindpur 45, Arwal 43, Kurtha 41, Jehanabad 45, Ghosi 54.3, Makhdumpur 51, Bodh Gaya 51, Phulwari 52.28, Masaurhi 53.04, Paliganj 50.28, Atri 47, Bikram 52.15, Islampur 50, Hilsa 50.4, Belaganj 49 and Wazirganj 49 per cent, Additional Chief Electoral Officer Kumar Anshumali.

Prominent candidates whose fates were sealed in EVMs were JD-U ministers Hari Narain Singh (Harnaut), Jitan Ram Manjhi (Makhdumpur), Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha (Jagdishpur) and BJP minister Prem Kumar (Gaya town).

Others were JD-U Chief Whip in the Assembly Shravan Kumar (Nalanda), party MLAs Asha Devi (Barhara), Sunil Kumar (Biharsharif), Shyam Rajak (Phulwari), Narendra Kumar Pandey (Tarari), senior BJP leaders Sayadeo Narain Arya (Rajgir), and Amrendra Pratap Singh (Ara).

The exercise was, by and large, peaceful, DGP Neelmani said. A man identified as Subhash Sharma was shot dead by unidentified assailants about 500 metre away from booth no 124 at the Kurtha assembly seat in Arwal district, but the DGP said that it was not related to the elections.

Altogether 292 persons were detained and around 125 vehicles including 86 motorcycles, seized Neelmani said.

Official sources said Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan's son-in-law and party nominee Mrinal Paswan was detained together with seven supporters for creating disturbance in a constituency in Rajgir.

Nationalist Congress Party nominee for Jagdishpur Manoj Kumar Rai, was arrested with Rs 21,000 in cash in his possession in Bhojpur district, while former Rashtriya Janata Dal minister Adiyta Singh was arrested for electoral irregularities at a booth in Nawada, the sources said.

Four persons were detained and Rs 1.55 lakh in cash was seized from their vehicle in Phulwari constituency where Janata Dal-United nominee Shyam Razak locked horns with RJD's Uday Manjhi.

Supporters of two rival JD-U and RJD clashed in Biharsharief town. No casualty was reported.

An unexploded landmine was seized from under a bridge at Baragaon under Masaurhi assembly constituency in Patna district, the sources said.

A person was arrested and five country-made pistols were seized from his possession at Arwal.

Five members of a patrol, including a magistrate, were injured when their jeep overturned in Arwal assembly constituency.

A presiding officer suffered cardiac arrest in booth 166 in Biharsharief constituency and was admitted to hospital, the sources said.

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