Purnia (Bihar), Jun 25 : An estimated 44.55 per cent votes were polled today as by-election to the prestigious Purnia Assembly constituency passed off, by and large, peacefully.
Amid heavy rains which disrupted polling temporarily at some booths and boycott of voting at six booths on local issues, 44.55 per cent voters cast their votes, reports received from the Control room claimed. While the voters boycotted polling at booth nos. 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 and 87 complaining of poor development in the area, two votes each were polled at two other booths in Chimani Bazaar in the constituency.
The District Magistrate-cum-Returning Officer suspended a presiding officer in Purnia town at booth no. 55 on the charge of dereliction of duty, official sources said, adding action was also taken against an ASI for doing duty in an inebriated state.
Bypoll to the seat was necessitated following the murder of BJP MLA Raj Kishore Keshri who was stabbed to death by a woman teacher Rupam Pathak in full public view at his residence in Purnia on January four.
Prominent among the seven contestants were Keshri's wife Kiran Keshri (BJP), Congress nominee Ramcharitra Yadav and CPI-M candidate Amit Sarkar, son of slain CPI-M MLA Ajit Sarkar.
While Lalu Prasad-led RJD lent support to Sarkar, his partner LJP decided to support the Congress nominee,apparently bringing to the fore the rift in the alliance between the two parties. PTI