The final and last leg of bihar polls has completed in the state and 59.46% of polling has been recorded.
The fifth phase was the battle for remaining 57 seats of total 243 seats.
Out of these 57 constituencies, 24 lies in Seemanchal region bordering West Bengal and spread over nine districts of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Supual, Madhepura, Saharsa, Araria, Kisanganj, Purnea, and Katihar.
The prominent leaders, whose fate would be decided in this phase include Janata Dal (United )’s Bijendra Prasad Yadav (Supaul), Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Siddiqui (Alinagar), Minister Narendra Narayan Yadav (Alamnagar) and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s close aide Bhola Yadav (Bahadurpur).
In the two Naxal-hit constituencies – Simri Bhakhtiyarpur and Mahisi in Saharsa district, the polling time has been cut short by two hours and would end at 3 pm for an otherwise 5 pm for the remaining 55 seats.
Over one lakh security forces were deployed to ensure free and fair polling. Besides Central para military forces at every booth, a three tier security arrangement was been put in place.
While five helicopters and drones kept a vigil from sky during polling process, one air ambulance was ready to meet any eventuality.
Indo-Nepal border along Bihar had been sealed and nobody was allowed to move across the border. Inter-district border had also been sealed and a strict vigil was being maintained to avert untoward incidents.
The fifth phase stands apart from the earlier phases with respect to the large number of Muslim voters involved this time. This round was watched keenly to see if All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) of Hyderabad lawmaker Asauddin Owaisi manages to successfully launch itself in Bihar. AIMIM had fielded six candidates in Seemanchal areas, where Muslim voters are present in large number to test poll waters in Bihar.
The BJP had fielded a maximum of 38 candidates, while Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) nominees were contesting in 11. The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) was battling in five constituencies and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) was contesting on three seats.
The fourth phase of polling for 55 seats saw almost 58% voter turnout on Sunday.
(With ANI inputs)