57 per cent polling in 1st phase of Bihar polls
NEW DELHI: Forty-nine constituencies which went to polls in the first phase of crucial Bihar assembly elections today recorded a "historic" turnout of 57 per cent. The Election Commission said the turnout is likely to go up by "one or two per cent" as the final reports were yet to come in from the field.
Barring a "few incidents", the polling in the constituencies located in 10 districts which are affected by Left-wing extremism went off peacefully, Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of Bihar Umesh Sinha told a press conference here.
Terming the turnout as both "historic" and "encouraging", he pointed out that 50.85 per cent voters had turned out in the 2010 assembly polls to cast their vote in the areas which went to polls today. The turnout in the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections was recorded at 44.08 per cent and 55 per cent respectively in the same area. This time, women outnumbered men by turning out in larger numbers. 59.5 per cent of women voters exercised their franchise.
Giving out district-wide detail of poll percentage, Sinha said Samastipur recorded 60 per cent turnout which was 54.2 per cent in the last assembly elections. In Begusarai, the turnout was 59 per cent (55.85 in last assembly polls). In Khagaria, the turnout was 61 per cent, which was 57.02 per cent in 2010. In Bhagalpur, the turnout was 56 per cent, which was 50.09 in 2010.
In Banka, the turnout was 58 per cent against 59.34 per cent in 2010 polls. In Munger, 55 per cent of electorate came out to vote as compared to 48.35 per cent in 2010. In Munger, Lakhisarai, Shekhpura, Navada and Jamui, the turnout was recorded as 55 per cent, 54 per cent, 55 per cent, 53 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.
While there were no plans of a repoll as yet, in nine areas, people boycotted elections mainly over developmental issues.