New Delhi, Sep 10: The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said the declaration of five-phased polls in Bihar was the outcome of a "meticulous" planning and expressed hope that the elections would be conducted in the "free and fair" manner.
Assembly elections in the state will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5, and counting of votes will be on November 8.
"The Commission took various factors in mind like the dates of a slew of festivals that would fall during the polls time. The announcement of the poll schedule was the outcome of a meticulous planning and a lot of thought process went into it," Election Commissioner O P Rawat told PTI.
The Commission, he said, will ensure level playing field for every one and the polls would be free and fair.
Rawat said the EC also had to keep in mind the areas and districts affected by Left Wing Extremism in the state, and first two phases of polls on October 12 and 16 will be held in these areas.
"The central paramilitary forces have also been given ample time to mobilise from one location to the other during the different phases of the polls," he said.
Polls to the 243-seat Assembly will be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5. Term of current Assembly expires on November 29.
The full Commission, headed by CEC Nasim Zaidi and EC A K Joti and Rawat, is also expected to travel soon to the state to take final stock of the preparations in the state.