Lok Sabha elections 2019: Tejashwi faces photo trouble, Tej Pratap’s guards thrash…

Sporadic incidents of violence marred the last phase of national elections in Bihar as eight out of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats went to the polls on Sunday. According to the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App, a 53.36% turnoutwas recorded in the state.

A mob threw stones at police over alleged inaction in checking bogus voting at two booths in Ara, where Union minister R K Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party was up against Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)’s Raju Yadav.

Son of Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav’s guards reportedly thrashed a photojournalist Ranjan Rahi. In turn, the RJD leader accused the photojournalist of breaking his vehicle’s windshield and lodged a police complaint against him for allegedly trying to attack him.

Additional director general of police Kundan Krishnan said the police had to fire to disperse a mob trying to cast bogus votes in Paliganj under the Patliputra seat. “We cannot allow assembly of a large number of people near a polling booth. Security personnel of the Bihar Military Police fired in the air on seeing the mob advancing towards the booth…”

A mob damaged block development officer Ranjan Kumar Nigam’s vehicle in Nalanda as he was persuading a group of voters, boycotting the polls over lack of civic facilities, to vote.

In Patna Rural, police superintendent Sanjay Kumar Singh directed RJD legislator Ramanand Yadav to stay indoors after he allegedly tried to woo voters. He was cautioned that he would be arrested if he did not comply with the orders.The legislator dismissed the allegation, saying he was stopped and threatened with arrest if he did not stay home. He accused the administration of working in favour of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Yadav said he would urge the EC to take action.

In another incident, a belligerent mob attacked the sector magistrate at Bikramganj village in Karakat parliamentary constituency. “The mob also damaged some spare EVMs which the sector party was carrying,” said Krishnan.

RLD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav’s voter slip was found to have photograph of another individual. He was in Delhi, though, and did not vote, said RJD lawmaker Bhola Yadav.

Patna district magistrate Kumar Ravi said the slip seemed to have an old photograph of Tejashwi Yadav. “We are trying to verify it.”

“We had specifically asked our returning officers to prepare a list of all high-profile voters and ensure that there was no anomaly. I have sought a report..,” said Bihar’s chief electoral officer, H R Srinivasa.

Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad (Patna Sahib), Ram Kripal Yadav (Pataliputra), Ashwani Kumar Choubey (Buxar) and R K Singh (Arrah) were among the 157 candidates in the fray on Sunday. Standing against Prasad was Shatrugan Sinha, who contested on a Congress ticket, after having won the seat in 2009 and 2014 on a BJP ticket.

First Published:
May 19, 2019 23:38 IST

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