The Election Commission on Friday announced the dates for the Bihar Assembly elections. Holding a press conference, the Election Commission today said the Bihar Assembly elections will be held in three phases. The first phase (on 71 seats) will be conducted in approximately across 31,000 polling stations. The second phase (on 94 seats) will be conducted in approximately across 42,000 polling stations, while the third phase (on 78 seats) will be conducted across 33,500 polling stations.
Here are the polling details for the first, second and third phase of Bihar Assembly Elections
Bihar Assembly Elections Phase 1
Date of issue of notification: October 1
Last date of nomination: October 8
Scrutiny of nomination: October 9
Last date of withdrawal of candidature: October 12
Date of polling: October 28
Bihar Assembly Elections Phase 2
Date of issue of notification: October 9
Last date of nomination: October 16
Scrutiny of nomination: October 17
Last date of withdrawal of candidature: October 19
Date of polling: November 3
Bihar Assembly Elections Phase 3
Date of issue of notification: October 13
Last date of nomination: October 20
Scrutiny of nomination: October 21
Last date of withdrawal of candidature: October 23
Date of polling: November 7
The counting of votes for the Bihar Assembly Elections will be done on November 10, 2020.
The Election Commission said more than 70 countries have postponed their elections due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today we will be announcing the election dates for one of the largest states in India - Bihar, the EC said.
"The world has changed significantly, and certainly not for the better. The uncertainty and devastation caused by COVID-19 have changed the way we live and work. It has forced a new normal," CEC Sunil Arora said.
"As the pandemic spread across the world, all election officials first thought it was needed to postpone elections and hold them in a more condusive environment. More than 70 countries postponed their elections. However, as days passed, many countries took the courageous decisions to go ahead with their election schedules with safety norms," the CEC said.
Talking of the coronavirus guidelines for voters and polling staff, the Election Commission says the first major step that has been taken is to reduce the number of electors at each polling station. This has reduced from 1,500 to 1,000, said CEC Arora. There will be sanitizers at all polling booths and it will be mandatory for everyone to wear masks, the CEC said.
Also, the polling time has been increased by an hour - from 7 am to 6 pm.
"Voters who have tested COVID-19 positive will be able to cast their votes during the last hour of polling," the CEC said.
Over 7 lakh hand sanitiser units, about 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh units of faces-shields, 23 lakh (pairs of) hand gloves have been arranged for the Bihar elections 2020. For voters specifically, 7.2 crore single-use hand gloves arranged, the CEC said today.
"We are all aware that the term of Assembly in Bihar is expiring on November 29. Bihar Assembly holds a strength of 243 members of which 38 seats are reserved for SCs and two for STs," CEC Sunil Arora said.
Talking of the use and misuse of social media, CEC Sunil Arora said, "Anyone trying to misuse social media with respect to elections shall have to face consequences under the law."
Bihar election is the first major election that is being held in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who will contest the Bihar election for a fourth term with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been challenged by Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress.
Chirag Paswan, who has of late adopted a rebellious stance against Kumar, swears by his loyalty towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi in whose cabinet his father and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan is a minister. Chirag has also gone to the extent of red-flagging Nitish as the chief minister face of the NDA.