As Bihar heads for what is being billed as a mini-Lok Sabha election, with 49 constituencies going to the polls on Monday, the battle-lines are drawn. As the BJP-led NDA and the Nitish-Lalu-led grand alliance face off each other, casting other smaller alliances to the margins, the BJP no longer appears to have the edge it had a fortnight ago, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to be more popular across castes and regions.
No. of seats being contested by different political parties in the first phase:
|Party||No. of seats|
11:51 am: 27% voting till 11 a.m.; Maximum 34% voting recorded in Khagaria district.
11:25 am: Polling is likely to pick up by noon, says additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakshaman.
11:04 am: While Banka has recorded a maximum turnout of 14 per cent, Samastipur recorded the lowest turnout of seven per cent till 9 a.m.
10:48 am: 16% voting recorded till 10 a.m.
10:40 am: Polling has been remained peaceful in Maoist-affected districts of Munger, Jamui and Lakhisarai.
9:50 am: Over 10% polling till now.
9:25 am: Polling temporarily halted at Ramchandrapur booth number 86 in Sarairanjan constituency due to EVM malfunction.
8:48 am: 6% voting during first hour of polling.
7:52 am: 1,35,72,339 electorate will cast their votes in the 49 seats for which 583 candidates, including 54 women, are in the fray.
7:46 am: Given a bipolar contest and accretion of different social groups under the banner of either alliance, relative turnouts of various communities could clinch the verdict. If MBCs, Dalits and Forward Castes turn out in more numbers than the Muslim-Yadav-Kurmi coalition on polling days, then the NDA may carry the day.
7:43 am: Union Minister Giriraj Singh casts his vote in Barahiya.
7:36 am: How women voters can tip the scales in Bihar
Women in Bihar have been agents of change in previous elections and have brought in significant political and policy changes in the State. Bihar is the fourth largest State in India in terms of the total number of electors (55 million). It contains 8 per cent of the total number of electors in the country. More…
7:28 am: Polls are being held in 49 seats, some in Naxal-infested districts of Jamui, Banka, Lakhisarai, Nawada and Munger.
7:26 am: Mr. Modi tweets: “Urging all those voting today in Bihar to vote in large numbers. I particularly urge my young friends to cast their vote.”
7:19 am: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has an added responsibility — to guard the politicians of Bihar, one of the worst hit by Naxal violence. Of the 15 politicians accorded VIP security cover, 13 are from the BJP or members of its alliance.
7:10 am: Polling for first phase begins.