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Over 40% polling in Bihar till 2 p.m. (2nd Lead)


IANS Patna
Ignoring heatwave like conditions, 40.08 per cent voting was recorded in Bihar's five Lok Sabha seats till 2 p.m. on Monday, an official said.
Voting started at 7 a.m. in Begusarai, Ujiarpur, Darbhanga, Munger and Samastipur constituencies. "Long queues were seen at polling booths in rural as well as urban pockets of these constituencies despite heatwave-like conditions," the official said.
Women queued up in large numbers outside booths in the initial three hours of polling, the official said. More than 87 lakh voters are eligible to decide the fate of 67 candidates, including some heavyweights, in this phase.
Union Minister and BJP candidate Giriraj Singh is being challenged by JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar on a Communist Party of India (CPI) ticket in Begusarai.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded state chief Nityanand Rai from Ujiarpur, where Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief and former Minister Upendra Kushwaha is also in the fray.
In Munger, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has fielded Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's close aide Lalan Singh against Congress' Neelam Devi, wife of Independent MLA Anant Singh.
In Darbhanga, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui is in the fray against BJP's Gopaljee Thakur.
This phase of polling will also decide the fate of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ramchandra Paswan in Samastipur. He is the brother of LJP President Ram Vilas Paswan.
Heavy security has been deployed at all booths to ensure peaceful polling. Three helicopters have also been deployed to provide air cover.
According to officials, the voting has been peaceful so far, except reports of star clashes between supporters of rival parties.
In Begusarai, villagers clashed with security forces and pelted stones after being beaten up by the police.
Villagers, in Begusarai as well as in Samastipur, also alleged that polling officials forced some voters to cast their vote in favour of a particular party candidate.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 3:14 PM IST

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