New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission (EC) on Friday announced that it has decided to conduct all the 65 by-elections and general assembly elections of Bihar at the same time.

In a statement, the EC said that it will announce the schedule for the by-elections and the Bihar Assembly Election 2020 "at an appropriate time".

"One of the major factors in clubbing them together is relative ease of movement of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and other law and order forces and related logistics issues," the Election Commission said in a press release.

Currently, there 65 clear vacancies due for bye-elections in Assembly or Parliamentary Constituency, out of which there are 64 vacancies in the State Legislative Assemblies of various states and one vacancy for Parliamentary Constituency, the EC noted.

"The Commission reviewed the reports and inputs from Chief Secretaries/ Chief Electoral Officers of many of the concerned states seeking deferment of the bye-elections in their states in view of several factors including the extra-ordinary heavy rains in some places and other constraints like pandemic etc.," the EC further said.

Several bypolls were deferred recently due to excessive rains and the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the term of the Bihar legislative assembly comes to an end on November 29 and the polls are likely to he held sometime in October-November.

The EC, however, has issued guidelines for the polls. According to the guidelines, voters will be provided with gloves to press the EVM button and COVID-19 patients in quarantine will be allowed to vote at the last hour of the polling day.

"The option of postal ballot facility has been extended to the electors who are marked as 'persons with disabilities', people above the age of 80 years, people employed in notified essential services and who are COVID-19 positive/possibly infected", the EC had said in its guidelines.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma