5-phase Bihar polls from Oct 12
The Election Commission today announced the schedule for the crucial Bihar Assembly elections. The voting will be held in five phases from October 12 to November 5, while the counting of votes will be done on November 8.
The term of the present 243-member House expires on November 29. There are 40 reserved constituencies (38 SC and two ST) in the state.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced that the polling would be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5.
Flanked by two Election Commissioners, AK Jyoti and OP Rawat, Zaidi said the number of electorate in the state was 6.68 crore. An exigency plan was in place to take on board those whose names might not have figured on the electoral rolls, he added. He justified scheduling the Bihar Assembly elections in five phases saying it was done keeping in view security issues and the intervening festivals of Diwali, Dussehra, Eid, and Muharram.
Forty-seven Assembly segments in the state are Naxal infested. The commission has also identified other vulnerable pockets.
“Adequate security arrangements have been made by the commission to ensure free and fair elections. A level playing field will be ensured in the enforcement of the model code of conduct,” Zaidi said.
For the first time, the election body will provide electronic voting machines displaying photos of those in the fray, in all constituencies.
The voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) will be used in 36 constituencies spread over 34 districts. Two “model” polling stations will be set up in every constituency. The authorities have been directed to provide basic amenities at all polling stations.
All polling booths will be manned by Central/paramilitary forces.