Bihar goes to polls tomorrow

Patna, Oct 20 (ANI): Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Bihar for the first phase of Assembly polls beginning tomorrow with voters from 47 constituencies spread over eight districts of the State to vote in this phase.

It has been reported that 'Observers' and 'Micro Observers' have been appointed to ensure free and fair polls as voters from of Madhubani, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea, Katihar, Madhepura and Saharsa Districts will cast their votes in the first phase.

"Observers and Micro Observers have been appointed to ensure free and fair polls. Over one crore seven lakh voters will decide the electoral fortune of 631 candidates including 52 women," said Chief Electoral Officer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh.

Bihar Director General of Police Neelmani said the central para-military forces personnel are being deployed on all booths for peaceful poll, asserting that areas bordering Nepal has been sealed to prevent any untoward incident.

There are further reports that the Election Commission has issued a list of 14 alternate documents to be accepted by the presiding officers during the assembly polls to verify the identity of voters in case they do not have Electors photo identity card.

These alternative documents include passport, driving licence, PAN card, arms licence, certificate of physically handicap, freedom fighter identity card, caste certificate, pass book of bank or post office, service identity card issued by state or central government offices and job card issued under NREGA.

Property document such as registered deed, pension document, health insurance scheme, smart card and photo identity card issued by recognized educational institutions to their students will also be allowed for voting purposes.

It has also been reported by the Association for Democratic Reforms that over 379 candidates with pending criminal cases are contesting the Assembly polls in Bihar.

Around 219 candidates with self-declared pending criminal charges are contesting the Assembly polls in the second and third phase, which includes 129 of the candidates with serious charges.

The 129 candidates out of these 219 have declared serious IPC charges like murder and attempt to murder charges against them.

All the major political parties have given tickets to candidate with pending criminal cases, according to the analysis.

The Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) has given tickets to 71 percent candidates with criminal background, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to 69 percent such candidates, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has given tickets to 66 percent such candidates, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to 63 percent such candidates, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to 38 percent and Indian National Congress (INC) to 31 percent candidates having criminal cases registered against them, says the Association for Democratic Reforms.

The toll-free helpline, SMS, facebook and myneta campaigns are underway to help the voters choose honest candidates.

The six-phase poll for 243 seats beginning tomorrow concludes on November 20

The first phase of elections will take place tomorrow for 47 state assembly seats, the second phase on October 24, the third phase on October 28 for 48 seats, the fourth on November1 for 42 seats, the fifth phase on November 9 for 25 seats and the sixth and last phase on November 20 for 26 seats.

Counting of votes will take place on November 24.

Bihar has over 5.5 crore voters, who will exercise their franchise through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). (ANI)

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