A total of 583 candidates from the BJP, the RJD, the JD(U), the Congress, the BSP and other parties are in the fray for the first-phase of Bihar assembly elections being held in 49 of the total 244 constituencies on Monday.

Voting for all the seats began at 7 am and will end at 5 pm in most of the polling stations. But voting at some polling booths in Naxal-hit areas will end early – by 3-4 pm – owing to law and order situation, PTI reported. 

Also Read: All you need to know about first phase of assembly election

Polling will be held at 13, 212 booth across 10 districts of south-eastern Bihar and a total of 1.35 crore (1,35,72,339) voters are expected to exercise their voting rights. Of the total general electorate, there are 72.37 lakh (72,37,253) men, 63.17 lakh (63,17,602) women and 405 of the third gender.

Samastipur, Begusarai, Khagaria, Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Nawada and Jamui districts are voting in the first phase.

LIVE Updates:

5:13 pm: Voting ends for phase one of Bihar polls: ANI

57% voter turnout in the first phase of Bihar Polls: EC

5 pm: Polling sealed off in the naxal affected Jamui (Bihar) at 3 PM

4 pm: Lakhisarai (Bihar): Polling sealed off in the naxal affected Surajgarha at 3 pm

3:45 pm: 49 per cent poll percentage recorded till 3 pm for the first phase of Bihar polls: ANI

3:30 pm:

3:10 pm:

1:34 pm: 39 per cent voter turnout recorded till 1 pm: ANI

12:50 pm: LJP candidate Vijay Kumar escapes unhurt after shots were fired at him by unidentified men in Jamui; 1 man detained, interrogation on: ANI

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10:55 am:  20.15 per cent turnout has been recorded till 10 am in the first phase of Bihar assembly elections: ANI

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8:18 am: EC directs concerned District Magistrate to probe into alleged sting involving former Bihar Cabinet Minister Awadhesh Kushwaha: ANI

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7:42 am:

7:30 am: Urging all those voting today in Bihar to vote in large numbers. I particularly urge my young friends to cast their vote: PM Modi tweets.

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Tight security has been put in place to ensure peaceful polling. At least 80,000 to 90,000 polling personnel and the Central Para Military Force have been deployed at all the polling booths. Drone and helicopter have also been put in service, Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshamanan said.

For the first phase of Bihar assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded highest number of candidates who are contesting from 41 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting from 27. Communist Party of India (CPI) has fielded candidates for 25, Janata Dal United for 24, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for 17 and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) for 13.

The other parties, including Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, and Hindusthani Awam Morcha, are contesting from only 8, 6 and 3 respectively. Of the total 583 candidates in the fray for first-phase of assembly elections, 54 are women.

The Bihar assembly elections will be held in five-phase, with the last phase being held on 5 November and the result will be declared on 8 November. 

The 2015 assembly elections in Bihar holds great significance in the history of Bihar politics as the BJP is trying to gain its foothold after coming to power in the Centre in May last year. 

The NDA alliance – comprising the BJP, Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) – is fighting against the grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan) of Nitish Kumar's JD(U), Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD and the Indian National Congress led by party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

The other parties that are in the fray are the Samajawadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Nationalist Congress Party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and others. They are projected to win 3-12 seats in the elections.

Many pre-poll survey findings have projected the BJP-led NDA's victory with slight margin in seat sharing against the Grand Alliance, but a couple of poll surveys have suggested that the JD(U)-led alliance may win the elections with majority seats.