BIHAR POLL .. Voting on for first phase of polling in Bihar; 71 constituencies up for polling; heavy turnout



PATNA: Polling was under way Wednesday in 71 assembly constituencies in Bihar, in the first phase of the three-phase elections amid tight security and the Covid-19 guidelines being in place. Voting began at 7am and will end at 6pm as polling hour is extended by one hour except in the Left Wing Extremism areas, so that Covid-19 patients can vote in the last hour of the day.

A total of 2,14,84,787 voters are called upon to decide the fate of 1,066 candidates Male voters number 1,12,76,396 while 1,01,29,101 are female and 599 in third gender category. Of the total candidates, 952 are men and 114 women, in the first phase spread across 16 districts.

Of the 71 constituencies in voting mode on Wednesday,  28 fall in six districts, including the Naxal-hit Gaya, Rohtas and Aurangabad. While RJD is contesting 42 seats, JD(U) candidates are in 41, BJP (29), Congress (21) and LJP in 41.

Guidelines have been issued by the EC for safe conduct of the electoral exercise. These guidelines include lowering the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering the polling hours and extending postal ballot facility to those above 80. Besides, sanitization of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and the availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap and water has also to be ensured at polling stations.

The second and the third phases of polls are scheduled for November 3 and November 7. The results will be announced on November 10. –IHN-NN


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