Patna:Amid tight security and Covid protocol in place, polling began this morning on a brisk notein 78 constituencies where a total of 2,35,54 071 electorate are expected to exercise their franchise to decide the fate of 1,204 candidates, including 12 ministers of Nitish cabinet, in the third and final phase of Bihar Assembly Elections.
A large of voters waiting for their turns in long queues were seen at several booths in 78 constituencies spread across 15 districts, some of them located in frontier region of Bihar bordering with Nepal and Bangladesh.
Polling began at 0700 hrs in all 78 Assembly seats and would continue till 1800 hrs barring four seats where voting would conclude at 1600 hrs due to security reasons. Constituencies where polling would come to an end at 1600 hrs are -- Valmiki Nagar and Ram Nagar in West Champaran district and Simri Bakhtiyarpur and Mahisi in Saharsa district.
Polling for by-election in Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat is also in progress where more than 17 lakhs electors are likely to cast their votes at 2,478 booths. Repolling is on at three booths in Hilsa seat of Nalanda district where polling was held during second phase of Bihar Assembly elections on November 3. Polling at these three booths was held peacefully but EVMs had fallen in ditch filled with water due to an accident, when the polling party was taking the same to deposit in strong room.
Prominent candidates whose political fortunes would be sealed in EVMs are 12 ministers of Nitish Cabinet, eight from JD(U) quota and four from BJP quota.
Among ministers who are trying their luck include Bijendra Prasad, Narendra Narain Yadav, Khurshid alias Firoz Ahmad, Madan Sahani, Maheshwar Hazari-- all from JD(U) and Pramod Kumar,Vinod Narayan Jha, Krishna Kumar Rishi and Suresh Kumar Sharma--all from BJP.
Other prominent candidates are-- former ministers Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Ramai Ram and Suhasini Yadav, daughter of veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav.
Polling for first of three phased Bihar Assembly Elections was held in 71 seats on October 28 and in 94 seats during second phase on November 3.
Polling is in progress today in rest of total 243 seats in third and final phase of Bihar Assembly elections.(UNI)