Defying a call by Maoists to boycott the polls,an estimated 51 per cent electorate cast their votes in 42 Assembly seats in Bihar on Monday,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.
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