Despite several villages boycotting polls on the issue of development, over 46 per cent of 70 lakh voters in Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui in Bihar voted on Thursday until noon in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections in the state.
In all, the fate of 44 candidates would be decided in the first phase of seven-phase parliamentary elections.
According to officials, a youth was injured in Nawada when someone unidentified persons opened fire at a booth. He is said to be out of danger. At another booth, two rival groups clashed in Nawada itself.
At more than half a dozen villages in Gaya, Jamui and Nawada, people boycotted polls protesting lack of roads, schools and health centres.
According to officials of the State Election Commission here, more than 41,000 security personnel have been deployed in the Maoist-affected districts that are polling in the first of elections in the state.
Three helicopters were providing air cover to security forces in these areas.
"In the initial one-and-half hours of voting, people were seen standing before polling booths. It was a slow start but polling has since picked up pace," the official said.
There were some reports of problems with electronic voting machines at some booths in Gaya, Nawada and Jamui districts, which have since been fixed.
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