New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Election Commission of Friday announced the dates for the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020. The Election Commission said that the Bihar Assembly Elections will be conducted in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be declared on November 10, the EC said. 

Along with the dates, the Election Commission also announced certain guidelines to be followed during the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The term of assembly in the state of Bihar is due to expire on 29th November 2020. Bihar assembly has a strength of 243 members, of whom 38 seats are reserved for Schedule Caste (SCs) and two for Schedule Tribe (STs).

Going by the guidelines issued by the EC, campaigning in the run-up to the high-octane Bihar Assembly Elections will be a muted affair this year.

While announcing the dates for the elections in Bihar, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said, “As days and months passed & COVID19 showed no signs of abetting, it was realised that some way would have to be found to balance the democratic rights of the electorate while also making sincere & systematic efforts to protect health & safety of people”.


Guidelines for Bihar Assembly Elections 2020:

As we talk, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) stands enforced with this announcement. The Commission has already made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of MCC guidelines

- COVID19 patients who're quarantined will be able to cast their vote on the last day of poll, at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health authorities. This is beside the option of the postal facility already extended to the voters.

- To further decongest polling stations & allow more free movement of voters, polling time has been increased by 1 hour. It'll be held from 7 am-6 pm, instead of 7 am-5 pm earlier. However, this will not be applicable to Left-wing affected areas. 

The social media platforms are expected to make adequate arrangements to safeguard against misuse of their platforms & set up strict protocols to handle such issues as and when they arise. 

One of the first major steps which was taken to reduce the maximum number of electors at a polling station from 1,500 to one thousand. As a result of this, the number of polling stations went from 65,337 (in 2015 Assembly elections) to more than one lakh in 2020.

- Door-to-door campaign is subject to restrictions. Only five, including the candidate but excluding the security personnel, are allowed for door-to-door campaigning.

-The convoy of vehicles should be broken after every five vehicles instead of 10 vehicles. The interval between two sets of a convoy of vehicles should be half an hour instead of a gap of 100 meters.

- Every person shall wear face masks during every election-related activity.

- Thermal screening of all persons. Sanitizer, soap and water to be made available at every booth.

- Large halls should be identified as booths and counting centres so that social distancing can be maintained.

- Nomination form will be made available online. It can be filled online and its print may be taken out for submitting.

- Affidavit can also be filled online.

- Candidates can deposit security money online though the cash deposit option will also be there.

- Only two persons can accompany a candidate for submission of the nomination.

- Only two vehicles will be allowed during the nomination filing process.

- Not more than 7 counting tables should be allowed in a counting hall. Hence, three to four halls may be taken up for the counting of votes of one constituency.

In the previous Assembly elections held in the state in 2015, JDU, RJD and Congress had fought the elections together under the Mahagathbandhan banner. On the other hand, BJP led NDA had fought the elections with Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and other allies.

Posted By: Talib Khan