Counting of votes in three phase Bihar Elections 2020 on November 10
New Delhi, Sep 25: The Bihar Elections 2020 will begin on October 28. The Election Commission of India (ECI) said that the polls will be conducted in three phases. The counting of votes will take place on November 10. With this, the model code and conduct has come into force with immediate effect.
The ECI said that the first phase will cover 71 constituencies, including the Left Wing Extremism hit ones in 16 districts. The second phase will cover 94 in 17 districts. The third and final phase will cover 78 assembly seats in 15 districts the CEC also said.
The first date of nomination is October 1 and the last date would be October 8, the CEC said.
Bihar will vote in three phases- October 28, November 3 and 7, the ECI also said. The counting of votes will take place on November 10, the ECI also said.
The ECI said that the number of voters per polling station has been cut to 1,000 to facilitate social distancing. This will raise the number of polling stations of over 1 lakh in 2020 from 65,337 in the 2015 polls the ECI also said.
The Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora also fixed norms for campaigning and said that not more than five including the candidate can go to homes. The commission said that COVID-19 positive persons under home quarantine or institutional quarantine can cast their votes at the last hour of the poll day by the postal ballot.
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, Arora also said.
The ECI also said that voting time to be extended by one hour till 6 pm. COVID-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day, Aurora also said.
Number of people accompanying for nomination restricted to two, the ECI also said. Media personnel covering the elections would have to follow the protocols, the CEC also said.
The ECI also warned of strict action against those who are using the social media to spread fake news.
To further decongest polling stations and allow more free movement of voters, polling time has been increased by 1 hour. It will be held from 7 am to 6 pm, instead of 7 am to 5 pm earlier. However, this will not be applicable to Left-wing affected areas, the CEC also said.
On September 4, the EC said that it has decided to hold 65 pending by-elections and the Bihar assembly polls "around the same time".
There are 64 vacancies in the legislative assemblies of various states and one in Lok Sabha.
"One of the major factors in clubbing them together is the relative ease of movement of central forces and related logistics issues," a Commission statement said.
The term of the Bihar assembly ends on November 29 and elections are likely to be held sometime in October-November.
"... (the) Commission has decided to conduct all the 65 bye-elections and the General Assembly Elections of Bihar around the same time... Announcement of schedule of Bihar General Assembly Elections as well as these bye-elections will be done by the Commission at appropriate time," it said.
Several bypolls were deferred recently due to excessive rains and the COVID-19 pandemic.