A person died while another was injured when lightning struck near a polling booth in Araria during polling in five constituencies of Bihar in the third phase of Lok Sabha polls on Tuesday, which was otherwise peaceful.
Voters turned out in good numbers at Jhanjharpur, Araria, Khagaria, Supaul and Madhepura, recording average 60% polling, which was 1% more in these constituencies as compared to the last parliamentary elections, said H R Srinivasa, chief electoral officer, Bihar.
As a preventive measure, 46 persons were detained along with 38 vehicles, said Kundan Krishnan, ADG (headquarters). A helicopter (MI-17) and an air ambulance were kept as a standby in case of any emergency, he said.
Reports said Dhruv Mandal, who went to exercise his franchise at booth number 51 of Pipraghat village in Forbesganj assembly constituency of Araria, died due to lightning. Another youth, identified as Baidyanath Mandal, was injured in the incident and admitted to the local Sadar Hospital.
“We have got reports of a youth dying due to lightning. We are trying to ascertain facts and a post-mortem examination has been ordered. If the autopsy report confirms death due to lightning, we will hand over a compensation of Rs 4 lakh as compensation to the next of kin of the deceased,” said Araria district magistrate (DM) Baidyanath Yadav.
There were also reports of some persons, including three women, being injured when police used mild force to disperse a mob, which had gathered near booth number 152, 153 and 154 of the Narpatganj assembly constituency in Araria. The DM, however, denied any police action.
“There was only one incident of temporary disruption of polls at booth number 12, when some vested interests tried to spread rumours and create nuisance. The poll officials lodged an FIR and continued with the polling after a brief disruption,” said Yadav.
Srinivasa said the state control room of the Election Commission received 76 complaints of during polling hours. “All the complaints were disposed of,” he said.
Among the five seats where polling was held today, perhaps the most keenly watched one is in Madhepura, where former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav is fighting on an RJD ticket against his former party JD(U)’s Dinesh Chandra Yadav and Kosi strongman Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, who won the seat in 2014 on RJD ticket and is now in the fray as an Independent.
Sharad has won Madhepura seat four times and lost it thrice since 1991. After falling out with JD(U), he buried his differences with Lalu Yadav whom he had defeated from Madhepura in the past and agreed to be an RJD nominee.
Supaul is also witnessing an interesting battle. Congress MP and candidate Ranjeet Ranjan, who is pitted against Dineshwar Kamait of the JD(U), has not got any support from ally RJD due to her husband Pappu Yadav’s strained relations with Lalu Prasad.
Opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had skipped Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s election rally at Supaul a few days back.
In Khagaria, LJP MP and candidate Mehboob Ali Kaiser is pitted against debutant Mukesh Sahni of the Vikasheel Insaan Party, an ally of the Grand Alliance.
In Araria, Sarfaraz Alam of the RJD is in a direct fight against Pradeep Kumar Singh of the BJP.
Apr 24, 2019 11:36 IST