Bihar: Turnout at the fourth phase of the Bihar elections have surpassed the records of the previous three phases polling with around 57.59 per cent of the electorate exercising their franchise in 55 constituencies on Sunday.
With 66 per cent voting taking place, Sheohar district witnessed the highest turnout, while Siwan witnessed a poor turnout with 54 per cent. This has given some anxious moments to both the NDA and the Grand Alliance leaders.
Although the two rivals, soon after the polling, claimed to be inching towards two-thirds majority, the fact that woman voters on Sunday again outnumbered male has kept everyone on tenterhooks. According to Election Commission sources, woman voters’ turnout was 60 per cent as compared to men’s 54 per cent.
Voting on Sunday took place in 55 constituencies spread over seven districts – East Champaran, West Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Siwan.
These areas are considered to be strongholds of the BJP, as the party had won 26 out of the 55 constituencies in 2010 Assembly polls. Even during 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA had maintained its lead in 53 out of the 55 constituencies.
The fourth phase of election was all the more crucial for the BJP. The fifth and last phase of elections in 57 districts, which will take place on November 5, are mostly in Muslim-dominated constituency in north and north-eastern Bihar, the latter being also called Seemanchal area. In four districts in Seemanchal, the Muslim population varies from 25 per cent to 70 per cent.
“We have reports that we are sweeping polls with two-thirds majority,” said BJP Rajya Sabha member and in-charge of Bihar BJP affairs, Bhupendra Yadav here on Sunday. The Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Assembly and a BJP CM hopeful, Nand Kishore Yadav too exuded confidence of the BJP romping home.
However, Lalu Prasad, whose party is in the fray on 26 seats (while the JD (U) and the Congress are contesting 21 and eight seats respectively out of total 55 constituencies which went to polls on Sunday), said “Kahani khatam hai BJP ka.(It’s all over for the BJP).”
Bihar JD (U) president Bashishtha Narain Singh too echoed a similar sentiment when he predicted that the NDA will get not more than 70 seats out of 243 constituencies in Bihar. All eyes are now on November 5, the last phase of polls. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.