53.51 pc turnout in Phase 2 assembly polls in Bihar, figure likely to go up: EC

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (PTI) The 94 assembly constituencies that went to poll in the phase two of Bihar elections on Tuesday recorded 53.51 per cent turnout and the figure was likely to go up as voting continued beyond schedule in several places, the Election Commission said.

The combined voter turnout in the two phases was recorded at 53.79 per cent till 5 PM, the Commission said.

The turnout was 55.35 per cent in these constituencies in the 2015 assembly polls, the EC said. The combined figure would also go up when final figures of phase 2 are collated later in the day.

'The electoral exercise going on in the country is by far the largest exercise in the world amid the pandemic...the voter turnout in the first phase has been exceptionally good. The voter turnout has further continued and the confidence level has been much more in this phase,' EC Secretary General Umesh Sinha said.

The 94 constituencies in the second phase of elections will decide the electoral fate of RJD leader and grand alliance's chief ministerial face Tejashwi Yadav and more than 1,450 other candidates.

Polling began at 7 am, but the time for its conclusion has been extended by one hour till 6 pm to facilitate COVID-19 patients and those with symptoms of the disease to exercise their franchise during the final hour. The process, however, concluded early in the Maoist-hit areas.

Referring to the 54 assembly bypolls spread across 10 states held on Tuesday, the Commission said Chhattisgarh recorded 71.99 per cent turnout, Gujarat 57.98 per cent, Haryana 68 per cent and Jharkhand 62.51 per cent.

The turnout in Odisha was 68.08 per cent and 66.57 per cent in Madhya Pradesh. In Nagaland, the turnout was 83.69 per cent, while it was 81.44 per cent in Telangana. In Uttar Pradesh, the turnout was 51.57 per cent.

The Commission said the figure were dynamic in nature and likely to change over the next few hours.

Besides 28 seat in Madhya Pradesh, eight assembly seats went for bypolls in Gujarat, followed by seven in Uttar Pradesh, two each in Odisha, Nagaland, Karnataka and Jharkhand, and one each in Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Haryana.

Five assembly seats in Manipur and one Lok Sabha seat in Bihar will go for bypoll on November 7.

Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of Madhy Pradesh Sudip Jain sad the enforcement teams have made seizures worth Rs 23.42 crore in Madhya Pradesh.

He also referred to an incident of firing in Morena in which one person was injured. A person has been arrested and the incident did not affect poling.

In Bhind too, there was an incident of 'air firing' by unknown persons. In Bhind again, there was an incident in which the control unit of an EVM as 'smashed' in Mehgaon.

In the second phase of the Bihar assembly polls, 6,240 ballot units were deployed out of which 0.36 per cent had to be replaced. Out of the 41,362 control units, 0.37 per cent were replaced. Similarly, out of the 41,362 paper trail machines, 1.31 per cent were replaced.

One control unit and at least on ballot units make for one EVM.

In the 54 assembly bypolls, a total of 23,250 ballot units, 19,583 control unit and as many paper trail machines were deployed. Out of these 0.4 per cent control units, 0.37 per cent ballot units and 1.80 per cent paper trail machines had to be replaced, Jain said. PTI NAB SMN