Election Commission Announces Bihar Election Dates, Results On Nov. 10
An election official registers a voter outside a polling station during the sixth phase of voting for national elections in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Election Commission Announces Bihar Election Dates, Results On Nov. 10

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The Election Commission of India has announced the dates and schedule for the upcoming Bihar elections, polling for which will take place in three phases.

The number of phases have been reduced keeping in mind security arrangements and the festive season, among other factors. The state’s assembly, currently controlled by the alliance of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United), currently has 243 members of legislative assembly. JD (U)’s Nitish Kumar is the incumbent chief minister.

Bihar Elections 2020: Full Schedule

  • First phase: Oct. 28 — 71 seats
  • Second phase: Nov. 3 — 94 seats
  • Third phase: Nov. 7 — 78 seats
  • Counting of votes: Nov. 10

Declaring the poll schedule on Friday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the Bihar elections will be one of the largest globally to be held during the pandemic. He said the world has changed significantly since the last elections (Delhi polls), and that the pandemic has forced a new normal in every aspect of our lives.

To account for such a scenario, polling booths for voting during the Bihar elections will be open for one extra hour—i.e. from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm—except in naxalite areas.

Covid-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day, Arora said. He also said special protocols have been readied for voters who are covid-positive patients.

Seven lakh hand sanitisers, 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh face shields and 23 lakh pairs of hand gloves have been arranged for Bihar elections. Postal ballot facilities will be provided wherever required and requested. Social distancing norms will need to be followed at public gatherings during the poll campaign.

According to the chief election commissioner, anyone using social media for mischievous purposes, such as for flaring communal tensions, during elections will have to face consequences, while hate speech will be also dealt with harshly by the Election Commission.

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