An estimated 59.38 per cent of 1.38 crore voters exercised their franchise in eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar in the sixth and penultimate phase of general election on Sunday, an official said. Polling has by and large been peaceful in the eight seats - Valmiki Nagar, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Vaishaili, Gopalganj (SC), Siwan and Maharajganj - barring two incidents, one of which led to the death of an election officer.
In Sheohar constituency, Shivendra Kishore, a man in his early 30s, succumbed to a bullet injury that he had received when a homeguard accidentally fired his gun while cleaning it at a polling station.
An FIR has been lodged in this connection and the homeguard arrested, Sheohar Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Rakesh Kumar said. Going by the guidelines of the Election Commission, Kishore’s family will be paid Rs 15 lakh as ex-gratia, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) HR Srinivasa told reporters in Patna.
Terming the incident "unfortunate and sad", the CEO also said that efforts were being made to increase the compensation alount. A two-minute silence was observed after the press conference here as a mark of respect to Kishore.
In West Champaran seat, a clash broke out between two groups, shortly after local MP and BJP candidate Madan Jaiswal reached a polling station. One of Jaiswal’s bodyguards fired in the air, following which the groups dispersed.
Senior police officers have reached the spot to take stock of the situation, Srinivasa said, adding that he has sought a report from the district magistrate in this regard. At least 10 persons were taken into preventive custody during Sunday’s polling, he stated.
Of the eight seats, West Champaran registered the highest turnout at 63.90 per cent, followed by Valmiki Nagar at 63.80 per cent, Vaishali at 61.37 per cent, Sheohar at 60 per cent, Gopalganj at 59.20 per cent, East Champaran at 58.70 per cent and Siwan at 56.75 per cent.
The Maharajganj seat recorded the lowest turnout at 52.12 per cent. Altogether 1,38,02,576 voters exercised their franchise at 13,973 polling stations in the sixth phase to decide the fate of 127 candidates, 16 of which are women.
Srinivasa, who was accompanied by Additional CEOs Sanjay Kumar Singh and Balamurugan D and Additional Director General of Police (ADG) (Headquarters) Kundan Krishnan, said the commission has received 215 poll-related complaints from the eight Lok Sabha constituencies. Most of the complaints were relatively minor in nature and have been redressed, he added.