About 12 percent electorate cast their votes till 10 am in the bypolls for one Lok Sabha and two Assembly seats in Bihar on Sunday, where the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and the opposition RJD-Congress alliance are locked in a battle.
The bye-elections are being held for Araria Lok Sabha seat and, Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly constituencies.
According to election commission sources, the polling is so far peaceful.
In Araria parliamentary constituency, seven candidates are in the fray. Former BJP MP Pradeep Kumar Singh is seeking to regain the seat from the RJD which has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, the death of whose father Mohd Taslimuddin has necessitated the bypoll.
In Jehanabad, the RJD hopes to retain the Assembly seat that fell vacant after the death of Mundrika Yadav. The party has given a ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.
A total of 14 candidates are in the fray, though the contest is mainly between the RJD nominee and JD(U)'s Abhiram Sharma who had won the seat in the 2010 Assembly polls.
The BJP is hopeful of retaining the Bhabhua Assembly seat riding on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey whose death at the age of 48 has necessitated the bypoll.
The saffron party has fielded Pandey's wife Rinky Rani and her principal challenger is Congress candidate Shambhu Singh Patel. The total number of candidates in the fray here is 17.
Counting of votes will take place on March 14. The bye-elections are being watched with much eagerness as this is the first electoral battle in the state since last year's political realignment when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD(U), walked out of the Grand Alliance and rejoined the BJP-led NDA. —PTI