New Delhi, Sep 25: The Election Commission (EC) today announced that the Bihar Elections 2020 will be held in three phases.
Here are the highlights of the presser by the ECI:
- The term of assembly in the state of Bihar is due to expire on 29th November, 2020. Bihar assembly has a strength of 243 members, of whom 38 seats are reserved for SCs and two for STs.Nodal health officials will be appointed to ensure Covid-19 guidelines.
- Covid-19 pandemic has forced a new normal in all aspects of life; Bihar polls to be held under new security protocols. Bihar assembly polls will be one of the biggest elections globally to be held during prevailing Covid-19 situation.
- As days and months passed Covid-19 showed no signs of abetting, it was realised that some way would have to be found to balance the democratic rights of the electorate while also making sincere and systematic efforts to protect health and safety of people.
- Over 7 lakh hand sanitiser units, about 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh units of faces-shields, 23 lakh (pairs of) hand gloves arranged. For voters specifically, 7.2 crore single-use hand gloves arranged.
- As we talk, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) stands enforced with this announcement. The Commission has already made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of MCC guidelines.
- Emphasis should be on safe elections this time along with increasing voter turnout. Elections to be conducted in three phases. Phase 1 will have 71 seats, Phase 2 will have 94 seats and Phase 3 will have 78 seats. Bihar assembly elections voting on Oct 28, Nov 3, Nov 7; results on Nov 10.
- Amid the pandemic, several measures have been taken for campaigning and polling to ensure safety of leaders and voters. Polling has been extended by one hour from 7 am to 6 pm. The last hour will be reserved for those with Covid-19 and who are quarantined.
- District election officers will identify grounds for physical campaigning and also ensure circles are marked on the ground to ensure social distancing.
- The powerful election body has also warned against the misuse of social media. "Anyone using social media for mischievous purposes, such as for flaring communal tension during elections will have to face consequences, hate speech will be also dealt with harshly."