Preparations are afoot for the second phase of Bihar Assembly elections which will be held on 16 October. In the first phase, around 57% voters polled, on 12 October, in 49 out of 243 constituencies.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshaman said, the election passed off peacefully, with 57 percent voting. It was nearly 51% in 2010.
Lakshaman said that women voters outnumbered males in some places. Defying Maoist calls to boycott polls, hundreds and thousands of men and women in both urban and rural areas voted in the constituencies spread over 10 districts, he added.
Barring stray incidents, polling was largely peaceful. Minor incidents of violence came from Banka, Jamui, and Bhagalpur districts. At the same time, voters in more than a dozen villages in Samastipur, Bhagalpur, Jamui, and Banka boycotted the polls and shouted slogans against what they said was a lack of development, he said.
The Bihar battle is the biggest popularity test in the country after the Delhi election in February in which the AAP routed the BJP.
The BJP-led NDA is determined to defeat the JD(U)-RJD-Congress who had formed a grand alliance.
The BJP-led NDA alliance, which has three other parties including the LJP, is trying to dislodge the ruling JD(U). The BJP alliance also includes the Hindustani Awam Morcha, and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.
Voters in most polling booths said they would vote for development. “It is the only agenda that attracted me,” said voter Suman Kumar from Bhagalpur district.
Giridhari Yadav in Khagaria said, he would vote for Nitish Kumar. “Why should I vote for the BJP when we have tested Nitish Kumar? He has built roads, supplied power , and set up schools and hospitals in rural areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, unidentified men fired at Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate Vijay Kumar Singh in Jamui. Kumar escaped unhurt. Police, however, arrested one of the attackers.