Bihar elections in three-phases from October 28; counting on Nov.10

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora   | Photo Credit: PIB

The Election Commission of India on Friday announced the dates for the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections. The election will be held in three phases — Oct. 28, Nov 3 and 7 — while the counting of votes will be on November 10.

The term of the 243-member Bihar legislative assembly ends on November 29.

For the first time, the Commission is extending postal ballot facility to people aged over 85 years, as well as to COVID-19 suspects and patients.

Here are the live updates:

1.14 pm

Phase 3

Issue of NotificationsOctober 13
Last Date of making nominationsOctober 20
Scrutiny of nominationsOctober 21
Last date for withdrawal of candidaturesOctober 23
Date of PollNovember 7
Counting of VotesNovember 10

 

1.13 pm

Phase 2

Issue of NotificationsOctober 9
Last Date of making nominationsOctober 16
Scrutiny of nominationsOctober 17
Last date for withdrawal of candidaturesOctober 19
Date of PollNovember 3
Counting of VotesNovember 10

 

1.12 pm

Phase 1

Issue of NotificationsOctober 1
Last Date of making nominationsOctober 8
Scrutiny of nominationsOctober 9
Last date for withdrawal of candidaturesOctober 12
Date of PollOctober 28
Counting of VotesNovember 10

 

1.10 pm

Bihar election will be conducted in three phases.

The first phase will cover 71 constituencies, including LWE-hit areas.

The second phase will cover 94 constituencies in 17 districts, while third phase will cover remaining 78 districts.

Ten districts will have two-phase polling.

There will be separate guidelines issued for containment zones.

1.10 pm

The Election Commission, in addition to voter awareness, will also concentrate on COVID-19 management.

"We hope the voter turn out will be more than the previous elections," CEC Arora says.

Mr. Arora says the upcoming festival seasons were also considered before making the schedule.

Period of conduct of elections has been shortened and number of phases has been reduced, he added.

Bihar and Karnataka MLC election schedule will also be announced today, he says.

1.00 pm

Model Code of Conduct comes in force from today

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora continues to explain the polling preparedness.

Mr. Arora says all polling stations will be in the ground floor, will be wheel-chair friendly. Persons with disability will be given priority for voting.

Every polling station will have mask, gloves, soaps and sanitisers. Volunteers will be available to assist the elderly voters.

Model Code of Conduct comes in force from today.

Candidates with pending criminal cases will have to provide these information in newspapers and electronic media at least three times. It is now mandatory for political parties also to upload these details in their websites.

Special Expenditure Observers will be appointed, if required, to check illegal money distribution.

Adverse use of social media is now a new challenge in recent times. Anyone who makes mischievous use of social media shall have to face the consequences under the law of the land. Mr. Arora asks the social media platforms to make adequate arrangement to check any adverse use. 

Hate speech and fake news will be dealt with sternly by the Commission, says Mr. Arora.

12.45 pm

'New normal' voting

As per reports received from Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, more than 7 lakh units of hand sanitizers, 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh  PPE kits, 7.6 lakh face shields and 23 lakh hand gloves have been procured.

A fresh glove will be given to voters for pressing the EVM button, Mr. Arora says.

In October 2019, pre COVID times, the concept of absentee voters was introduced and used in Delhi. In Bihar, postal ballots would be extended to electors 80 years and above

Postal ballots have been extended to people who are aged 80 years and age. Persons with disabilities and COVID suspects can avail postal ballots. The COVID-19 patients can cast their votes at the last hour of polling.

Polling time has been increased to 7 am to 6 pm, except in non-Left Wing Extremists affected areas.

Nomination and security deposit can be posted online.

Door-to-door campaign restricted to five people, and only two people can accompany the candidate at the time of filing nomination papers.

All elections meetings will be monitored by election and health officials. Public gatherings can take place following social distancing norms. The District Election Officers will decide on the number of people allowed in such gatherings.

12.40 pm

More polling stations

We are here to announce the election schedule for one of the large States - Bihar. This is one of the biggest elections in the COVID situation, CEC Sunil Arora says.

Each polling station will have only 1000 voters. The number of polling stations will now be more that one lakh, he says. This will have huge logistics and manpower implications, he says.

Bihar Assembly has 243 seats, of which 38 are reserved for SC and 2 for ST.

First major step taken was to reduce maximum number of electors per polling station from 1,500 to 1,000

Total electors in Bihar in 2015 was 67 million. Now it's 72 million.

12.30 pm

Elections during 'new normal'

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora introduces the newly-appointed Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar. Mr. Kumar replaces Ashok Lavassa, who quit the post to join Asia Development Bank.

The world has changed significantly since the last time we met to announce the Delhi elections, says Mr. Arora.

Mr. Arora recalls how ECI conducted Rajya Sabha and MLC elections amidst pandemic, following safety norms.

 

First election amidst pandemic

While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is heading the National Democratic Alliance coalition in Bihar, is seeking another term, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress are trying to come up with a united front to challege him.

The Election Commission is also likely to conduct byelections to 64 assembly seats spread across 15 States. Of this, 27 belong to Madhya Pradesh. The bypoll to the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar is also pending.

Bihar is the first state to go for elections after the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

SC refuses to entertain plea for deferment of Bihar Assembly polls

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking to postpone the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M R Shah also refused to grant liberty to the petitioner to give representation to the Election Commission in this regard.

“We can’t permit everybody to go to the Election Commission. We can only permit you to withdraw the petition,” the bench said.

The matter was then dismissed as withdrawn.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 7:34:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/bihar-assembly/bihar-assembly-election-dates/article32692092.ece

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