Bihar assembly election to be held in three phases between October 28 and November 7

  • Bihar elections will be held in three phases from October 28 to November 7.
  • The votes for all three phases will be counted on November 10.
  • Bihar will have to elect a new 243-member legislative assembly by November 29.
  • In 2015, the alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United (JDU), and the Congress had swept the polls, but JDU has since aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
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The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the Bihar assembly election. It will take place in three-phases between October 28 and November 7.

"These elections will be held in three phases. In the first phase, 71 assembly constituencies in 16 districts will go for a poll. It will be held in 31,000 polling stations. In the second, 94 assembly constituencies in 17 districts will go for the poll. In the third phase, 78 assembly constituencies in 16 districts will go for polls," EC said.

This is the first major state election to be held in India amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Bihar has 13,015 COVID-19 active cases as on September 25 and has witnessed 878 coronavirus deaths so far.

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EventDate
Issue of NotificationPhase 1: October 1 | Phase 2: October 9 | Phase 3: October 13
Last date notificationPhase 1: October 8 | Phase 2: October 16 | Phase 3: October 20
Scrutiny of Nomination Phase 1: October 9 | Phase 2: October 17 | Phase 3: October 21
Last date of candidature withdrawalPhase 1: October 12 | Phase 2: October 19 | Phase 3: October 23
Polling Date Phase 1: October 28 | Phase 2: November 3 | Phase 3: November 7
Counting of VotePhase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3: November 10

According to Chief Election Commission of India, Sunil Arora, the number of voters per polling station were cut to 1,000 to facilitate social distancing. This will raise number of polling stations to over 1 lakh in 2020 from 65,337 in 2015 poll.

Moreover, polling time has also by one hour. Polling will now be held between 7am to 6pm. However, this won't apply in left-wing constituency.

COVID-19 patients, who are quarantined can cast poll on last hour of polling day with health department supervision, apart from postal ballot facility.
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"Postal ballots has been extended to people above the age of 80 years. Where ever required and asked for, the facility will be extended. Further, voters with disabilities, and who are suffering with Covid-19, will be taken care of,' CEC Sunil Arora further said.

Battleground Bihar

The term of the Nitish Kumar-led government will end on November 29. The people of Bihar will have to elect a new 243-member legislative assembly by then.

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In 2015, the alliance of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal-United (JDU), and the Congress had swept the polls, but JDU has since aligned with the Bhartiya Janata Party.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal, LJP, and some others had suggested postponement of the electoral battle until the coronavirus pandemic was over. However, the ruling JD-U, BJP, and others wanted the elections to be completed before the Assembly's term ended.

Earlier this month, the EC said that the Assembly elections will be completed before November 29, the date on which the tenure of the present Assembly ends. The EC also said that by-elections to 65 seats in different states will also be held simultaneously.

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It has already issued the guidelines to all political parties to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The candidates will file nomination papers and deposit security money online. Facial masks, hand sanitisers, social distancing norms would be mandatory during political campaigning or at rallies.

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