Patna, At least 26.19 per cent voters exercised their franchise till noon in five constituencies where polling was underway during the 5th phase of Lok Sabha election today.
Sources at the Election Office said that Saran constituency recorded highest 29 per cent voting followed by 26.28 per cent in Muzaffarpur, 25.85 per cent in Madhubani and 25 per cent each in Sitamarhi and Hajpur constituencies.
Meanwhile, a miscreant damaged the ballot unit of EVM at booth number 131 under Sonpur assembly segment in Saran Lok Sabha constituency.
Confirming the incident, Saran district returning officer cum district magistrate Subrat Kumar Sen said that the offender identified as Suresh Sharma had been arrested. He said that polling resumed at the booth after some time.
Prominent candidates whose fates would be decided in the 5th phase are former union minister and BJP candidate Rajeev Pratap Rudy and RJD candidate Chandrika Rai from Saran, Bihar Animal and Fisheries Resources Minister and LJP candidate Pashupati Kumar Paras and RJD candidate Shivchandra Ram from Hajipur (reserved), BJP candidate Ajay Nishad and Vikasshil Insan Party (VIP) candidate Rajbhushan Chaudhary from Muzaffarpur and former union minister Dr Shakeel Ahmed, who had resigned from the post of AICC senior spokesperson is contesting election as Independent candidate from Madhubani.
Dr Ahmed is pitted against BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Yadav and VIP candidate Badri Kumar Purve. JD (U) candidate Sunil Kumar Pintu is facing stiff challenge from RJD candidate and former minister Arjun Rai in Sitamarhi. Former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi had contested from Saran seat in last Lok Sabha elections but she lost to BJP candidate Mr Rudy. After being elected, Mr Rudy was made minister in Narendra Modi cabinet but later he was dropped during reshuffle. Prime Minister Mr Modi has reposed faith in him and he has been given opportunity to contest from Saran again.