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19.26% polling in Bihar, expected to pick up speed: Poll official

Around 19.26 percent polling was recorded before noon on Tuesday in 94 Bihar Assembly segments in 17 districts, though it was expected to pick up speed as the day progressed, an official said.

Muzaffarpur district with 26.09 percent polling led the table, followed by Gopalganj at 24.12 percent. West Champaran district registered 21.99 percent polling by 11 am.

Polling percentage in Sheohar was 19.25, Sitamarhi 20.22, Madhubani 18.13, Vaishali 20.33, Samastipur 21.76, Begusarai 19.01, East Champaran 15.76, Darbhanga 15.65, Siwan 15.96, Saran 16.69, Khagaria 19.57, Bhagalpur 20.08, Nalanda 20.20, and Patna 18.16.

Officials received a few complaints about non-functioning EVMs and VVPATs in six districts. A group of women in Gopalgang refused to vote at a polling booth after alleging that the EVM had been tampered with.

An official at the election control room in Patna said booth number 89 in Darbhanga, 121 in Gopalgang, and 136 in Muzaffarpur reported technical glitches and errors in EVMs during mock polling in a polling booth in Ugiyarpur constituency.

During the second phase of polling, first-time voter Priyanka, 19, came on a bicycle to cast her vote along with her grandmother in the Raj Bhavan polling booth on Tuesday morning.

“I am very happy to cast my vote for the first time. I pressed the EVM button while keeping the jobs issue in mind,” she said.

Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi cast his vote at Kumhrar’s St Joseph High School in Patna district. “I appeal to the people of Bihar to come out and cast their votes by following Covid norms,” he said.

During the polling, some voters raised objections over the VIP treatment to Sushil Modi. Many voters claimed that they had been standing in queues for half an hour but he just arrived and cast his vote without standing in a queue.

Chandrika Rai, Janata Dal-United candidate, also cast his vote in Vaishali. He lashed out at Lok Janshakti Party President Chirag Paswan and said that he did not know the ground realities in Bihar. “He lives in Delhi, wears branded clothes, and follows 5-star culture. He doesn’t know the ground situation in Bihar,” he said.

As per the Election Commission, Pirpainti in Bhagalpur district is the largest Assembly segment going to polls in the second phase, with 3.34 lakh voters, including 1.78 lakh males, 1.56 lakh females, and 12 transgenders.

Cherie Bariyarpur is the smallest segment with 2.48 lakh voters, including 1.30 lakh males, 1.17 females, and 12 transgenders.

Polling in 94 Assembly segments in 17 districts will be held from 7 am till 6 pm. The polling in some sensitive constituencies will end at 4 pm as per the Election Commission (EC) directions.

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