New Delhi, September 25: The Election commission of India on Friday announced the dates and schedule for Bihar Assembly Elections 2020. The polling in Bihar will take place three phases on October 28, November and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10. However, the ECI stated that the bypolls for 1 Lok Sabha, 64 assembly seats will be announced only after a review meeting on September 29, as several of the states have raised concerns on the poll timings amid COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking on the issue of bypolls for one Lok Sabha seat and 64 assembly constituencies, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, "The Election Commission will take a decision after a meeting on September 29 where issues raised by some states on timing of polls would be discussed and a press release should be issued subsequently the same evening." He also mentioned that concerns were mostly raised from the southern states as most of the coronavirus cases have been reported from there. Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 Dates And Schedule: Voting in 3 Phases on October 28, November 3 and 7, Poll Results on Nov 10.
Among other details, Arora said that the polls in Bihar will take place amid high security and COVID-19 guidelines. On the issue of arrangements made, Arora said, "7 lakh hand sanitisers, 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh face shields and 23 lakh pairs of hand gloves have been arranged for Bihar polls." Also, postal ballot facility will be provided wherever required and requested. Social distancing norms will need to be followed at public gatherings during the poll campaign, he added.
Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh bye-elections will be the first among major state polls in the country taking place amid COVID-19. The Election Commission has announced guidelines for polls to take place amid the pandemic to ensure social distancing and hygiene. Along with the bypolls in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the polling will take place for Bihar in three phases for 243 Assembly seats.