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Bihar Elections 2020: PM Modi urges voters to participate in 'festival of democracy'

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Patna, Oct 28: As the first phase of polling got underway in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged the voters to participate in the "festival of democracy", while following all COVID-19-related precautions.

    Bihar Polls 2020: Voting in 1st phase underway, amid Coronavirus guidelines|Oneindia News

     Bihar Elections 2020: PM Modi urges voters to participate in festival of democracy

    Taking to Twitter, Modi wrote, "Today is the first phase of voting in the Bihar Assembly elections. I urge all voters to ensure their participation in this festival of democracy while taking precautions against COVID," Modi said in a tweet in Hindi.

    "Be mindful of maintaining 'do gaz doori', wear a mask," he said. "Remember, first vote, then refreshments!" he added.

    The first phase of polling kicked off in Bihar today, with lakhs of voters across Bihar set to take to the ballot and seal the fate of 1,066 candidates contesting from 71 seats to the state's Legislative Assembly amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines in place.

    More than two crore voters in Bihar will decide the fate of 1,066 candidates on Wednesday across 71 assembly segments in the first phase of elections. Guidelines have been issued by the Election Commission for safe conduct of the electoral exercise, which takes place in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

    These include lowering the cap on the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering of polling hours and postal ballot facility for those aged above 80, or those afflicted with or suspected to be carrying the contagion.

    Besides, sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap and water will be ensured. The Bihar polls are being held in three phases -- October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be out on November 10.

    Bihar Elections 2020: 6 cabinet ministers test their strength in phase-1

    As many as 33 of the constituencies going to polls in the first phase have been declared as "sensitive or hypersensitive" constituencies, the poll panel said. It said 31,371 polling stations have been set up in this phase and as many Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines will be used.

    Elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly is being held in three phases, with the second and third phase witnessing a fight over 94 and 78 seats respectively.

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