50.56 percent polling in final phase of Lok Sabha election in Bihar till 6 pm

Patna, May 31(UNI) An estimated 50.56 percent polling was recorded till 6 pm during the seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha election in eight seats in Bihar on Saturday.

The electorate sealed the fate of 134 candidates in EVMs, including Union Minister R K Singh.

Among others ,whose fate were sealed in EVMs, are former Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Upendra Kushwaha, Ram Kripal Yadav and famous Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh.

The 8 seats where polling was held are Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra , Arrah, Buxar , Sasaram , Karakat and Jehanabad. Polling was held from 7 AM to 6 PM.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) H R Srinivas told media persons here that an estimated 50.56 percent polling was registered during seventh and final phase of Lok Sabha elections in eight seats. Polling passed off peacefully and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere, he added.

Srinivas said that 51.24 percent polling was recorded in same eight seats in 2019 Lok Sabha election. Polling percentage of seventh phase of Lok Sabha elections this time could surpass the figure of last Lok Sabha election after the final percentage was calculated, he added.

The CEO said that polling percentage in by-election in Agiaon assembly seat was 46. By-election was necessitated after membership of sitting CPI(ML) MLA Manoj Manzil was terminated following his conviction in the murder case.

Srinivas said that electorate boycotted polling in four booths due to several factors including lack of development in areas concerned. Of the four booths where polling was boycotted, two were in Jehanabad, one each in Paliganj and Hilsa, he informed. Polling duration at some booths were curtailed by one to two hours due to security and other reasons, he informed.

In 2019 Lok Sabha election, of eight seats where polliing was held during final round of Lok Sabha election, BJP had won five seats while its ally JD(U) had bagged three seats. INDIA bloc comprising RJD and Congress as major partners, had then contested as Grand Alliance and drawn blank in all these seats.

In all eight seats, there was direct contest between NDA and INDIA bloc candidates barring Jehanabad and Karakat where electoral battle had turned triangular. BJP fielded its candidates in all seats where party had won in last Lok Sabha election which included Sasaram, Patliputra, Arrah, Buxar and Patna Sahib while JD(U) fielded its candidates in Jehanabad and Nalanda seat. RLM, another constituent of NDA has fielded its candidate in Karakat Lok Sabha seat.

On the other hand, Grand Alliance constituents RJD and CPI(ML) contested in three seats each while Congress fielded its candidates in two seats only. RJD had fielded its candidates in Patliputra, Buxar and Jehanabad while CPI(ML) candidates tried their luck in Arrah, Karakat and Nalanda. Congress fielded its candidates in Patna Sahib and Sasaram seats only.

In Arrah, BJP had reposed faith in its sitting MP and Union Minister R K Singh.He was pitted against Sudama Prasad of CPI(ML). Prasad is sitting party MLA from Arrah. In Patliputra, Misa Bharti, daughter of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav contested against Ram Kripal Yadav, the sitting BJP MP.

Yadav had defeated Bharti in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In Patna Sahib, sitting BJP MP and former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad faced challenge from Anshul Abhijit of Congress. Abhijit, son of former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar is political novice but Congress fielded him from this seat. On the other hand, Prasad had defeated Shatrughan Sinha who had contested on Congress ticket in 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Sinha had represented Patna Sahib seat as BJP MP in 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In Nalanda Lok Sabha seat, Kaushlendra Kumar contested on JD(U) ticket against Sandeep Sourav of CPI(ML). Kumar had earlier won from this seat in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In Buxar Lok Sabha seat, BJP had replaced its sitting MP and Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Chaubey and fielded Mithilesh Tiwary. RJD fielded former Bihar Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh from this seat to challenge Tiwary. Both Singh and Tiwary contested Lok Sabha elections for the first time.

In Sasaram seat, Congress fielded Manoj Kumar while BJP fielded Shivesh Ram replacing its sitting MP Chhedi Paswan. In Karakat, president of RLM Upendra Kushwaha contested against Raja Ram Singh of CPI(ML). Famous Bhojpuri singer Pawan Singh contested as Independent from this seat, making the electoral battle triangular.

Singh is hugely popular among youths in this Bhojpuri speaking region. BJP had earlier offered ticket to Singh to contest from Asansol seat against Shatrughan Sinha who is sitting MP of TMC. Singh had declined to contest against Sinha and preferred to contest from Karakat as Independent. Kushwaha is official candidate of NDA and BJP had terminated Singh from primary membership of the party, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned for Kushwaha.

In Jehanabad, JD(U) fielded sitting party MP Chandeshwar Prasad Chandrawanshi while RJD fielded former Bihar Minister Surendra Yadav. Prasad had defeated Yadav in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Arun Kumar former MP had also thrown his hat from this seat on BSP ticket. Kumar who was with LJP (Ram Vilas), had recently resigned from the party in protest against party president Chirag Paswan’s indifferent attitude towards him to give opportunity to contest Lok Sabha election from Jehanabad or any other seat in Bihar.

A total of 1,62,04,594 electorate including 85,01,620 males and 77,02,559 females were eligible to exercise their franchise to decide fate of 134 candidates in eight seats during 7th and final phase of Lok Sabha election. A maximum 29 candidates contested from Nalanda seat while minimum 10 candidates contested from Sasaram seat. Out of total 16, 634 booths, all women managed booths were 146 and model booths were 117. Arrangements for webcasting were made at 7,878 booths.

Polling for six of seven phased Lok Sabha elections in Bihar were earlier held in 32 seats. Counting of votes would be taken up on June 4.

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