Bihar

Bihar Assembly election | All SOPs were followed in phase 1: EC

Voters wait outside a polling centre in Bihar’s Kaimur district on October 28, 2020 during the first of Assembly elections in the State.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Wednesday said polling in phase one of Bihar Assembly election, the first general elections to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic, had been carried out with all COVID-19-safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place and that voters cast their ballots in a disciplined manner.

Also read: Bihar Assembly Elections | Phase 1 sees 54% turnout

Speaking at the Election Commission’s (EC) post-polling briefing, Mr. Arora said despite the pandemic, the turnout till 5 p.m. had been 52.24%. He thanked the voters, political parties and administration in Bihar for their participation. From entering the polling station till casting votes, all SOPs — thermal scanning at the gate, hand sanitisers being made available and wearing gloves while casting the vote — were followed, he said. “For the EC, it was a leap of faith and not a leap in the dark.”

The EC had extended the timing of polling by one hour and increased the number of polling stations to limit electors per station to 1,000. Mr. Arora said 0.22% of ballot units, 0.25% of control units and 1.28% of VVPATs had to be replaced during phase 1. He said he hoped that Bihar electors would beat previous records of turnout in phase two and phase three of polling next month. Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) in-charge of Bihar Chandra Bhushan said 89 cases under the IPC and NDMA had been lodged for violating COVID-19 norms. He added that senior citizens over 80 years of age and persons with disabilities had been extended the option of postal ballots.

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DEC Ashish Kundra added that 450 complaints of violation of the model code of conduct had been lodged via the C-Vigil application. the turnout was expected to cross that of the 2015 phase one election and the last Lok Sabha election as well. In 2015, phase one polling turnout was 54.75%. Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of Bihar Chandra Bhushan said 85,368 postal ballots had been cast in phase one. Senior citizens over 80 years of age and persons with disabilities had been extended the option of postal ballots. He added that 89 cases under the IPC and NDMA had been lodged for violating COVID-19 safety norms. DEC Ashish Kundra added that 450 complaints of violation of the model code of conduct had been lodged via the C-Vigil app.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 1:31:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/bihar-assembly/bihar-assembly-election-all-sops-were-followed-in-phase-1-ec/article32966378.ece

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