As the polling for 71 assembly constituencies began in Bihar Wednesday morning, a glitch in an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was reported at a polling booth in Lakhisarai.
The first phase has about 953 men and 114 women candidates in the fray. As many as 33 of the constituencies going to polls in the first phase have been declared "sensitive" or "hypersensitive" constituencies. About 31,371 polling stations have been set up in this phase and as many Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be used.
Meanwhile, Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar told PTI-Bhasha that local police has also been used to supplement the paramilitary forces wherever required. He said the services of home guard jawans will also be taken at polling stations for works like maintaining the queue.
As a precautionary measure, all security personnel deployed on poll duty have been given a coronavirus kit which has a face mask, gloves, a face shield and sanitisers.
Special security arrangements have been made for the Naxal-affected areas. Most of the state’s Naxal-hit areas are going to polls in the first phase, he said. The administration will keep an aerial vigil also and one helicopter will be used for the purpose, he said.
While announcing the election schedule for the 243-member assembly on September 25, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that polls will open as usual at 7 am but the voting hour will be extended by one hour until 6 pm, except in the Left Wing Extremism affected areas, so that COVID-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day.