On Sunday, Bihar voted to elect 55 representatives to the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly in the 4th phase of polling covering seven districts.
The fourth round of polling witnessed 57.59% voter turnout which is 3.31% higher than the 54.28% recorded during the 2010 assembly elections. As in earlier rounds, the women voters turned up in higher numbers than men. A total of 64.40% of women voters exercised their franchise, while 54.20% of men voters came forward to cast their votes, once again reinforcing the fact that women as a voter segment is extremely important, as also the need for higher representation for women in the legislative assembly.
Of the 7 districts that went to poll yesterday, East Champaran recorded the highest voter turnout at 59.96%, while Siwan saw the lowest turnout at 54.31%. Muzaffarpur city and district, which is a large and important region, was the only district to record a negative voter turnout recording 56.83%, which is 0.47% less than 57.30% witnessed in 2010.
The next and last phase of polling will be held on Thursday 5 November.
Voting percentage in 2010 / 2015 / Difference
West Champaran: 58.35% / 59.17% / 0.82%
East Champaran: 54.20% / 59.96% / 5.76%
Sheohar: 51.97% / 56.05% / 4.08%
Sitamarhi: 50.22% / 56.09% / 5.87%
Muzaffarpur: 57.30% / 56.83% / -0.47%
Gopalganj: 53.17% / 58.90% / 5.73%
Siwan: 51.37% / 54.31% / 2.94%
Total cumulative : 54.28% / 57.59% / 3.31%
Interpreting the voter turnout in the districts
East Champaran recorded the highest voter turnout at 59.96%. Within the district, Dhaka recorded the highest voter turnout at 63.55%, while Chiraia recorded the lowest at 56%.
Motihari is an important town in East Champaran district. In 2010 assembly elections, Pramod Kumar-BJP defeated Rajesh Gupta a.k.a. Bablu Gupta-RJD by 24,530 votes. This year, BJP has reposed its faith in Pramod Kumar and has fielded him once again as their candidate and his main fight is with Binod Kumar Shrivastava-RJD.
West Champaran recorded the second highest voter turnout at 59.17%. Within the district, Ramnagar (SC) recorded the highest voter turnout at 60.31%, while Nautan recorded the lowest at 54.54%.
Valmiki Nagar is an important town of West Champaran district. In 2010 assembly elections, Rajesh Singh-JD(U) won the seat beating Mukesh Kumar Kushwaha-RJD by a margin of 14,691 votes. This time however, since both parties are in alliance with the Congress, they have thus vacated the seat in favour of Irshad Hussain-INC. BJP, too, is avoiding this seat and is supporting their alliance partner RLSP who is fielding Surendra Prasad. He will find it tough to win this seat since both JD(U) and RJD have a strong presence here and are backing the Congress candidate.
Gopalganj recorded the third highest voter turnout at 58.90%. Within the district, Kuchaikote recorded the highest voter turnout at 63%, while Bhore (SC) recorded the lowest at 54%.
In 2010 assembly elections, Subhas Singh-BJP defeated Reyazul Haque-RJD a.k.a Raju by 15,893 votes. In 2015, both will once again take on each other. In the last elections, JD(U) supported the BJP candidate, but this time with JD(U) aligned with RJD, Subhas Singh has a tough fight at hand.
Muzaffarpur recorded the next highest voter turnout at 56.83%, however, this was lower than the turnout in 2010. Within the district, the highest voter turnout recorded was 60.27% at Kurhani, while the lowest was Aurai at 49.62%.
In 2010 assembly elections, Suresh Kumar Sharma-BJP defeated Mohhammad Jamal-LJP by a massive margin of 46,275 votes. BJP is once again fielding Suresh Sharma and this time he has the support of LJP which is an alliance partner. He is up against Bijendra Chaudhary-JD(U). Chaudhary is against a string candidate from BJP and has an uphill task contesting this seat.
Sitamarhi recorded the fifth highest voter turnout at 56.09%. Within the district, Belsand recorded the highest voter turnout at 62%, while Riga had the lowest turnout at 53%.
In 2010 assembly elections, Sunil Kumar-BJP a.k.a Pintu defeated Raghwendra Kumar Singh-LJP by 5,202 votes. In 2015, BJP and LJP are alliance partners. BJP has once again fielded Sunil Kumar (Pintu) and he will be challenged by another Sunil Kumar-RJD.
Sheohar recorded the second lowest voter turnout at 56.05%. In 2010 assembly elections, Sharfuddin-JD(U) defeated Pratima Devi-BSP by a margin of 1,631 votes. In these elections, JD(U) is once again fielding Sharfuddin who is up against Labhali Anand-HAM-S and Md. Imamudin-BSP. HAM-S and BSP share the same voter segment therefore the spilt in votes is likely to favour Sharfuddin-JD(U).
Siwan recorded the lowest voter turnout at 54.31%. Within the district, the highest voter turnout was in Goriyakothi at 57.50%, while the lowest was 48.50% at Daraundha.
In 2010 assembly elections, Vyasdeo Prasad-BJP defeated Awadhvihari Chaudhry-RJD by a margin of 21,541 votes. In 2015, BJP is once again fielding Vyasdeo Prasad who will be challenged by Bablu Prasad-JD(U). Awadhvihari Chaudhry who fought on an RJD ticket last time has rebelled and is fighting as an independent.
The 4th phase of polling was by and large without any major incident. Both NDA and the Grand Alliance have been claiming lead in the polls thus far. The 3rd and 4th phases is expected to favour NDA while the fifth and last round is likely to go the Grand Alliance way.