New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the voting for the first phase of Bihar Assembly Elections commenced today morning, senior BJP leader and Bihar's Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar found himself in a controversy over his arrival at a polling station wearing a face mask which has lotus print mark on it, depicting the symbol of BJP.

Reacting to the controversy, Prem Kumar, said that his action was unintentional as he was busy and forget to took off his mask. "It was not my intention to generate controversy and nobody pointed it out to me either. Since I was really busy, I didn't take off the mask when I went to vote," said the minister as quoted by news agency IANS.

Earlier, a report by news agency ANI stated that the returning officer of the polling booth in Gaya will file an FIR against the minister for violating the Model Code of Conduct after he wore a mask with a lotus print mark on it. Kumar is the BJP candidate from Gaya and has been elected six times from the seat. Prem Kumar had arrived to cast his vote by bicycle at a polling booth on Road No. 120 in Swarajpuri.

He exercised his franchise wearing a lotus-printed mask. He did not remove the lotus mask even while casting his vote, sparking a controversy over whether it was a violation of the code of conduct.

Bihar Chief Electoral Officer H. R. Srinivas said action will be taken if anyone violates the model code of conduct. Srinivas said that the officials at Gaya are looking into the matter, as reported by IANS.

Over 33.11 per cent voter turnout has been recorded till 2 pm in the first phase of Bihar assembly polls on Wednesday, the Election Commission said. While Lakhisarai has recorded the highest turnout of 40.16 per cent, followed by Nawada at 38.08 per cent, Sheikhpura with 29.29 per cent along with Rohtas (30.26 per cent), Buxar (30.38 per cent), and Arwal (30.55 per cent) has recorded the lowest voter turnout till now.

Voting began in 71 constituencies spread across 16 districts in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections on Wednesday at 7 am. This is the first election that is being held amid COVID-19 pandemic.


(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan