An estimated 65 per cent voter turnout was recorded in eighth phase of panchayat polls in Bihar today amid stray incidents.
“The Commission has received reports of 65 per cent of voter turnout till 5 pm in the eighth phase of panchayat polls that passed off peacefully barring some stray incidents. The polling percentage is likely to increase further once the final reports from all the district reach us,” State Election Commissioner (SEC) A K Chauhan told reporters here.
Chauhan, who was accompanied by the Commission’s Secretary Dugesh Nandan, said the polling percentage was 61.82 in eighth phase in the 2011 panchayat polls.
He said that a cane bomb weighing 4 kg was found from polling station number 10 and 12 located at Lutwa middle school under Bankebazar police station of Bihar’s Gaya district but the bomb was later defused by the security personnel.
There was a clash between police and villagers at polling station number 95 and 96 located at upgraded middle school under Sonepur police station of Saran district.
A driver of police vehicle and two villagers sustained minor injuries in the incident, he said adding that polling completed peacefully at these booths.
The commission also ordered repolling in polling station number 54 under Puraini police station of Madhepura district, he said adding that polling was cancelled following the assault of Presiding Officer by the villagers while another repolling was ordered at polling booth 10 under Sadar police station of Katihar district due to miscreants having poured water into the ballot box.
Chauhan said that as many as 369 persons were arrested for electoral malpractices, while 36 vehicles were seized.
The polling was held in 861 gram panchayats spread over 55 blocks of 32 districts for the post of 121 members of zila parishad, 1188 for panchayat samiti members, 861 for mukhiya, 861 for gram kutchery, 11878 each for gram panchayat members and gram kutchery panchs, the Commissioner said.
The 10 phase three-tier panchayat polls are being held to elect a total of 1161 members of Zila Parishad, 11496 members of panchayat samiti, Mukhiya and Sarpanch in 8392 gram panchayats, 114733 members in Gram Panchayat and Gram Kutchery each.