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Scorching heat no match for zeal to cast vote

Eager voters braved the scorching sun and 42C heat as East Champaran, West Champaran and Valmikinagar constituencies went to the polls with three other seats in Bihar in the last phase of voting on Monday.

The harsh weather set in as early as 8am but could not dampen voter enthusiasm. It seemed local issues were on the top of their mind. Residents boycotted polls at four polling stations of East Champaran constituency over long-pending demands for roads and electricity there.

At booth number 32 in Manglapur village of East Champaran, Sayeeda Khatoon (70) said: I have come to protect democracy in my country. She hoped the election would open up new avenues by curbing price rise and eliminate evils in society.

At booth number 80 in Motihari, Abhineet (20), a first-time voter, expected the new government at the Centre would have fewer corrupt people and provide the youth more employment avenues besides curbing prices.

At booth number 91 in Tumariya Tola near Raxaul, Mazhar Hussain (91) voted to elect a strong and decisive Prime Minister who could give the country a right direction. Father of former BJP MP Sabir Ali, Husain said it was time for people to rise above caste and religion to vote for a good and able leadership. Momina (18), another first-time voter, from booth number 38 near Raxaul Bazaar, expected from the new government safety for girls, easy access to education for all and employment avenues for youngsters, so far cheated by the government.

Laxman Sah (80), helped by a security personnel into booth number 117 of Sri Rampur village near Raxaul, expected things to turn around once a new government takes over at the Centre. Though physically challenged, he is yet to receive a tricycle from the government.

In Valmikinagar, most voters this correspondent spoke to believed a change of government at the Centre would bring an end to corruption. Shyama Devi at a booth in Bagaha hoped the new government at the Centre would understand the problems of women and control soaring prices.