Bihar poll: 51% turnout; Maoist boycott call ignored

Around 51% electorate cast their votes in 42 Assembly seats in Bihar on Monday.

Last Updated: Nov 01, 2010, 18:11 PM IST

Patna: Defying a call by Maoists to boycott
the polls, an estimated 51 per cent electorate today cast
their votes in 42 Assembly seats in Bihar, which saw stray
incidents of landmine blast and bomb explosion.

Voters ignored the poll boycott call with turnouts
ranging up to 55 per cent in Alauli (SC) and 54 per cent in
Begusarai and above 50 per cent in Bachwara, Teghra and
Jhajha, in the Maoist belt which figured in the fourth phase
of polling.

Maoists triggered a blast near a bridge on the
Chakai-Jamui main road in Batia jungle, but none was injured.

The ultras fled after BSF commandos retaliated, Director
General of Police Neelmani said.

Anti-socials set off two bombs near a booth in Danapur
assembly constituency in which a woman was injured, Neelmani
said. Four persons were arrested.

Over 250 persons were arrested from different places
and over 105 vehicles seized during polling hours, he said.

FIRs were lodged against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his
wife Rabri Devi for entering a booth here to cast their votes
with security men in tow in violation of the model code of
conduct.

The FIRs were registered by Block Development Officer
of Digha Ashok Kumar with the Patna airport police station,a
senior official said.

The couple were accompanied by son Tejpratap and
daughter Ragini.

On a similar charge, the authorities filed an FIR
against Transport minister and JD(U) candidate Ram Nandan
Singh for taking two guards inside a booth while casting his
vote at Gogri under Parbatta constituency in Khagaria
district.

FIRs were also registered against Singh`s two sons and
a supporter for clashing with rivals near Nayagaon in the
district.

Five policemen were injured in a road accident in
Munger, the DGP said.

Voters boycotted polling at around ten booths in
Pirpainti, Nathnagar, Dhoraiya and Amarpur constituencies
protesting absence of development in their areas.

A multi-tier security arrangement was in place with
borders with Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh sealed and close
ground and air surveillance being kept.

By election in the Banka Lok Sabha seat was held
simultaneously with two prominent contenders Putul Singh
(Ind), widow of former union minister Digvijay Singh and
former union minister Jayprakash Narain Yadav of RJD in the
fray. The voter turnout in the bypoll, necessitated following
the death of Digvijay Singh, was 47 per cent.

-PTI