Bihar Election 2020: Polling For First Phase Begins In 71 Constituencies
Updated: October 28, 2020 10:28 IST
Polling began on Wednesday morning in 71 assembly constituencies of Bihar in the first phase of three-phase elections amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines in place.
Polling for the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections is underway with all precautionary measures for coronavirus.
Of the total 2,14,84,787 electors eligible to exercise the franchise, 1,12,76,396 are male voters, 1,01,29,101 are female electors and 599 are in third gender category, according to data provided by the Election Commission. There are 78,691 service electors.
A total of 1,066 candidates -- 952 men and 114 women -- are in the fray in the first phase of elections being held in constituencies spread across 16 districts.
Guidelines have been issued by the Commission for safe conduct of the electoral exercise in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
These guidelines include lowering the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering the polling hours and extending postal ballot facility to those above 80.
Wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and the availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap and water has also been ensured at polling stations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people to follow all COVID-19 norms while going to cast their votes. "I urge all voters to ensure their participation in this festival of democracy taking all COVID-19 related precautions. Keep 'do gaj ki doori' (maintain a distance of two yards,) and wear mask mandatorily. Voting first, breakfast later," PM Modi tweeted.
Union Minister Giriraj Singh cast his vote at a polling booth in Lakhisarai. "Election is the biggest festival of democracy. I appeal to everyone to exercise their right to vote. I would urge everyone to step out and cast their votes. I pray that the State of Bihar remains in a good place," he said.
CRPF soldiers help differently-abled and elderly voters at Booth number 10 in Gaya's Chakarbandha area.
Officials deployed on polling duties in Gaya were seen wearing masks and gloves.
Bihar is witnessing a triangular contest between the ruling JDU-BJP alliance, the Mahagathbandhan or the grand alliance (RJD, Congress and others) and Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), which is eying the role of a kingmaker in case of a hung Assembly.