54% turnout in Bihar elections

Bihar’s erstwhile badlands recorded an encouraging voter turnout of 54 per cent in the third phase of the Assembly elections on Thursday. Polling passed off without any hitch in 48 constituencies spread over six districts in the north-western part.

Director-General of Police Neelmani said a multi-tier security arrangement was in place with the deployment of Central forces in all critical and Naxal-infested areas. The borders with Nepal and Uttar Pradesh were sealed.

Barring some skirmishes, the elections passed off peacefully in all the constituencies spread over East Champaran, West Champaran, Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran and Vaishali districts. An old woman died at a booth at Dindayalpur in Siwan district.

In Bettiah, the voters did not turn up at two booths to protest against the Bihar government’s “apathy towards them” in the past five years. The turnout of Muslim voters was substantial in Gopalganj, Siwan, East Champaran and West Champaran. A sizeable number of burqa-clad women were seen at the queues even before the polling began at 7 am.

A police constable created commotion at a booth in Gopalganj town by appearing in a drunken state and was detained. Polling officer Keshav Kumar Pandey was arrested for being in an inebriated condition in Gopalganj.

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