62% turnout in Bihar’s 2nd phase amid stray violence

Bihar, Image ANI

April 18 (IANS) Over 62 percent cent turnout was recorded in five of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats that saw voting in the second phase on Thursday amid cases of poll boycott, malfunctioning of EVMs and stray violence.

According to the Bihar Chief Electoral Officer’s office here, polls passed off peacefully amid tight security in Banka, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Kishanganj and Katihar parliamentary constituencies, except a case of reported firing by a Sashastra Seema Bal jawan at a polling booth in Banka.

A senior police official also said that the voting was peaceful so far and there were no reports of violence, except some clashes between supporters of rival parties.

There were also reports of problems in EVMs in Purnea, Katihar and Banka.

More than 85 lakh voters were eligible to decide the fate of 68 candidates in this round.

“Braving scorching heat, people came out in large numbers to cast their votes since morning. Long queue of voters were seen at polling booths,” an official said.

However, residents of more than a dozen villages in the five constituencies boycotted the elections, protesting lack of development including roads, school and health centres.

Prominent candidates in the fray are Congress leader Tariq Anwar from Katihar and RJD leaders Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav (Banka) and Bulo Mandal (Bhagalpur).

The first phase of polls was held on April 11 and covered the Gaya, Nawada, Jamui and Aurangabad parliamentary constituencies. All of these are areas affected by Maoist violence.

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