Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Grand Alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar claimed they had the upper hand as polling ended in 55 of the 243 constituencies in seven districts.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer R. Lakshmanan said the exercise passed off peacefully, including in Maoist strongholds. About 55.32 percent voting took place till 4 pm and 58 percent when it got over an hour later.

Barring minor clashes, the polling was peaceful, police said. Over two dozen "anti-social elements" were arrested for violating the model code of conduct and threatening election officials. Even as the voting was on, Prime Minister Modi addressed election rallies in constituencies that will see polling on November 5 - three days before the Bihar result will be known - and urged the people to vote for the BJP-led four-party alliance.

BJP leaders claimed that the large voter turnout showed their party was headed for a victory. The same claim was also made by leaders of Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United (JD-U).

Also Read: 'Jantar Mantar', 'Jungle Raj' will spell doom for Bihar: PM Modi

Polling in 12 of the constituencies where Maoists are active ended early.Voters queued up at many polling stations even before they opened. As the day progressed, the pace of polling picked up. At some places, the electronic voting machines malfunctioned - but they were quickly restored.

There was no major incident of violence. But police used force when political activists clashed outside a polling booth in Sheohar district.As many as 776 candidates were in the fray on Sunday in the districts of Gopalganj, Siwan, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur.

The main contest is between the BJP and its allies the LJP, HAM and RLSP on the one hand, and the JD-U, the RJD and the Congress on the other. The Bihar election is the most significant political battle after the BJP lost the Delhi assembly election to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in February.

Both Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have been on an aggressive drive in a bid to woo voters in Bihar - only to be countered by Nitish Kumar and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former chief minister Lalu Prasad, who said again on Sunday that the BJP would face defeat in the state.

More News on Bihar Polls 2015

Latest News from India News Desk



Bihar Assembly polls: Voting begins for fourth phase


Patna: Voting began this morning for 55 assembly seats in the fourth and penultimate phase of Bihar election amid tight security arrangements.


Polling is being held from 7 am to 5 pm in 43 constituencies, while it has been shortened by one hour in 8 seats and voting would end at 3 PM in four seats, said R Lakshamanan, Additional Chief Electoral Officer.


Both the warring groupings NDA and grand alliance are claiming that the fourth round would provide them a decisive lead over the other.


Arrangements have been made on a total of 14,139 polling booths for 1,46,93,294 electorate to exercise their franchise in this phase in which 776 candidates including 57 women are contesting.


Altogether 1163 companies (each comprising 100 personnel) of Central Paramilitary Force and state police will be posted to ensure free and fair elections. A total of 38 motor boats are engaged for riverine patrolling.


Prominent personalities whose fate would be decided in this phase are senior minister Ramai Ram (Bochaha), Ranju Geeta (Bajpatti) and Manoj Kushwaha (Kudni).


Ramai Ram, popularly called as 'Bhisma Pitamah' in his Bochaha constituency, has won the seat nine times since 1972 and this is his 10th bid to enter Assembly.


He is challenged by Anil Sadhu, son-in-law of LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, who had been seen crying on TV after ticket was denied to him. Later, LJP fielded him from Bochaha.


RJD president Lalu Prasad's native village Phulwaria in Gopalganj district which is part of Hathwa constituency is also voting in this round. Sitting MLA Ram Sewak Singh has been fielded by JD(U) from the seat.


Former minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Mahachandra Prasad Singh is fighting against him on the seat.


BJP had won 26 out of 55 seats spread across seven districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Gopalganj and Siwan in 2010 Assembly polls. Its then ally JD(U) had emerged victorious in 24. RJD had won 2 seats and Independents 3.