Panchayat Election: Large Numbers of Women Voted Despite Fasting in ‘Jitiya’ | Patna News

PATNA: Despite observing Jitiya Vrat and fasting all day for their children, women in large numbers left their homes to vote in the second phase of the panchayat elections held Wednesday in 48 blocks of 34 districts. Barring misplaced incidents of altercations, the election proceeded calmly. According to the State Election Commission, the turnout was 55.02% on Wednesday. A total of 76,279 candidates were vying for 23,161 positions in the second phase.
A deputy police inspector, Anil Kumar, was beaten by villagers as he tried to disrupt the ballot at booth number 48 of the panchayat Rupauliya of the Fenehara block in East Champaran, where the poll was held in 411 offices in 28 panchayats. SP Navin Chandra Jha reached the spot and controlled the situation. One person was arrested. Some rowdy elements also attempted to capture booth numbers 45, 46 and 47 in the Rupani panchayat. The police used moderate force and arrested a Chandrika Rai.
In Katihar district, women voters turned out in large numbers in the blocks of Katihar, Hasanganj, Dandkhora and Kursela. Suman Kumar, chairman of booth number 12 in Dalan (East) panchayat, said voters were confused as they had to manage four EVMs and two ballot boxes at a time while voting. DM Udayan Mishra said at least 1,60,523 voters voted to elect 2,302 candidates.
A solid ballot marked the election of the panchayat in 208 voting booths in the Maoist infested Kauakol bloc in Nawada district. Ajit Yadav, outgoing member of the district administration board, and a mukhia candidate were arrested for trying to influence the vote. Ajit was later booked under the Crime Control Act (CCA).
In Bhojpur, a 70-year-old Rameshwar Mahto died of a heart attack while waiting in line to vote at booth number 170 in the Lahthan panchayat. Otherwise, voters sealed the electoral fate of 1,950 candidates for 522 different positions in 22 panchayats under the Piro bloc. A woman from Tilath panchayat said: “I have been in line since 7 am despite today’s fast. Apna hak hai na! ”
Voting took place peacefully in the 283 voting booths in Araria for the election of 2,482 representatives in 20 panchayats under the Bhargama bloc.
Sixteen panchayats from Benipur bock and 11 from Alinagar went to the polls in Darbhanga district.
In Sitamarhi, elections were held in 7 panchayats under Choraut and 17 panchayats under Nanpur blocks. District administration was more sensitive in sensitive areas.
Barring minor altercations over the ballot symbol, the ballot was conducted peacefully in 17 panchayats in Madhepura district.
(With contributions from CB Pandey, Sanjeev Mishra, SB Sinha, Praveen, LP Nayak, BK Jha, SK Singh and DN Saha)

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