Patna: Polling for the third and final phase of the Bihar Assembly election for 78 seats in 15 districts has began on Saturday in which 2.35 crore voters are eligible to decide the fate of 1,204 candidates.
Casting of votes began at 7 am at all 33,782 polling stations where Electronic Voting Machine sets and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail machines have been installed and paramilitary forces deployed to maintain order, officials said.
Voting is simultaneously taking place for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat in West Champaran district where a by-election has been necessitated by the death of the sitting JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto.
Of the total 2.35 voters in the 78 assembly segments, spread across 15 districts of north Bihar, 1.23 crore are men, 1.12 crore are women while 894 are in the third gender category, according to statistics provided by the Election Commission.
In addition, re-poll is being held at two polling stations of Hisua assembly segment in Nalanda district where votes were cast in the second phase on November 3, the Election Commission said.
It said the re-poll has been necessitated by the EVMs getting damaged in a road accident.
From the NDA, the JD(U) has fielded 37 candidates while the BJP, Vikassheel Insaan Party and HAM have fielded 35, 5 and 1 candidates respectively.
On the Mahagathbandhan side, the RJD has fielded 46 candidates while the Congress, the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation and the CPI have fielded 25, 5 and 2 candidates respectively. Separately, the LJP has put up 42 candidates.