Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be campaigning in Bihar today, this morning appealed to the voters to step out in large numbers while adhering to the government-mandated social distancing norms to check spread of coronavirus. This is PM Modi's fourth visit to the state in the last few weeks; he will be addressing two rallies.
"Bihar will vote today for the second phase. I appeal to all the people in the state to step out in large numbers and make this festival of democracy successful. Please adhere to social distancing, and wear a mask," PM Modi tweeted in Hindi, shortly before the polling began at 7 AM. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, polling timings have been extended by one hour, except in the Maoist-hit areas. Voting is being held in 94 of the state's 243 assembly seats today.
In another tweet, PM Modi said: "Today, there are by-polls taking place in various places across India. I urge those voting in these seats to vote in large numbers and strengthen the festival of democracy." Bypolls are being held today in 54 seats across 10 states, including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Nagaland.
Today, there are by-polls taking place in various places across India. I urge those voting in these seats to vote in large numbers and strengthen the festival of democracy.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 3, 2020
In Bihar, LJP chief Chirag Paswan, who has parted ways with Nitish Kumar, to go solo, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Governor Phagu Chauhan were among the early voters. "I appeal to the people to participate in election in large numbers. I hope that voting percentage will be more than previous time," the Governor was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
In the first phase, the state recorded a polling percentage of 53 per cent.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, his brother Tej Pratap Yadav, Shatrguhan Sinha's son Luv Sinha, seven state ministers are among some of the key candidates in the second phase. "For better education, health facilities, and law and order... and a developed Bihar, please vote. In this new era, change is quintessential for the state. Jai Hind! Jai Bihar!" Tejashwi Yadav tweeted this morning.