An estimated 57.59 percent voter turnout was recorded in the fourth phase of the Bihar Assembly elections on Sunday. While the first hour of the polling witnessed a turnout of just 4.77 percent, it picked up as the day progressed.
As many as seven districts – East Champaran, West Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Siwan – went to polls on Sunday. Once again women voters outnumbered men. In the fourth phase, the voting percentage of men is 54.20 and of women is 60.40.
Maximum voter turnout was recorded in East Champaran at 59.96 percent, while it was the lowest in Siwan at 54.31 percent. The turnout in other districts was –West Champaran: 59.17 percent, Sheohar: 56.05 percent, Sitmarhi: 56.09 percent, Muzaffarpur: 56.83 percent and Gopalganj: 58.90 percent.
The NDA was eyeing major gains in Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, East Champaran and West Champaran. In many seats the Mahagathbandhan faced rebel candidates, proving to be a big headache.
Modi’s rallies were also expected to have helped in generating a mini wave of sorts in favour of NDA aspirants although in several rural areas, the fight was tough because Nitish continued to enjoy a very high rating.
While NDA claimed to sweep the fourth phase, Mahagathbandhan leaders said they would better the 2010 tally.
Deputy Election Commissioner incharge of Bihar Umesh Sinha said polling was held under tight security in 55 seats. " By and large, the polling went off peacefully barring a few incidents of violence."
In Siwan district, the central forces had to open fire in the air to disperse crowd when members of two communities pelted stones at each other. Personnel of central paramilitary forces had to use "force" at a polling station in Muzaffarpur when three persons allegedly tried to enter a polling compartment.
A HAM candidate, Lovely Yadav, allegedy tore a register containing certain forms related to elections at a polling station following which a complaint was registered against her, he said.
The voting was held on 14,139 polling stations, sealing the fate of 776 candidates.
In the 2010 Assembly elections, the JDU had bagged 25 seats while 26 had seen BJP candidates emerge victorious. Independents had bagged three and RJD one.
The results will be declared on November 8.