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Tuesday, 14 May 2024 | Pioneer News Service | Patna

Over 54 per cent of around 95 lakh voters in five Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar exercised their franchise till 5 pm on Monday, the officials said. Voting was held in Begusarai, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Munger and Darbhanga constituencies in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Union Minister Giriraj Singh is seeking re-election from Begusarai where his primary opponent is CPI’s Awadhesh Rai.

Singh had defeated former JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the same seat.

In Ujiarpur, which has the lowest number of voters at 17.48 lakh but hosts the maximum of 13 candidates, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai aims for a third consecutive term. His principal rival is Alok Mehta, a senior RJD leader and a former State Minister.

Samastipur, formerly known as Rosera, presents a battleground for two debutants — Congress’ Sunny Hazari and Shambhavi Choudhary of LJP (Ram Vilas) — both offspring of senior JD(U) leaders and Ministers in the Nitish Kumar Cabinet.

Sunny is the son of Maheshwar Hazari who had won the seat on a JD(U) ticket in 2009, while Shambhavi is the daughter of Ashok Choudhary, a Minister in the Nitish Kumar Cabinet in Bihar.

According to the Election Commission data, 56.36 per cent of voters exercised their franchise in Samastipur, 54.93 per cent in Ujiarpur, 54.28 per cent in Darbhanga, 54.08 per cent in Begusarai and 51.44 per cent in Munger till 5 pm.

The voter turnout in the five Lok Sabha seats was recorded at 54.14 per cent till 5 pm, the officials said.

Polling for the five Lok Sabha seats in the State will decide the fate of 55 candidates, they said.

A voter in Bihar’s Munger claimed she was not allowed to cast her vote after authorities asserted that her name was not registered in the voter list. However, elders in her family, who passed away several years ago, still had their names on the list.

After checking her phone number on the Election Commission’s website, she found that a Muslim voter was associated with her phone number. Despite bringing her grievance to the attention of the authorities, they didn’t offer any help. She said many such cases have emerged in the parliamentary constituency from which MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh Alias Lalan Singh and RJD’s Kumari Anita are contesting.

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