Results of the assembly elections, the first since the Delhi polls in February, will be out on November 10

Calling the forthcoming assembly polls in Bihar as the “biggest election in the world in Covid times,” Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora on Friday announced holding the election in three phases between October 28 and November 7.

During the press conference, the Chief Election Commissioner said the election will be held in three phases: Phase one on October 28, phase 2 on November 3 and phase 3 on November 7.

In the first phase, 71 assembly constituencies in 16 districts will go for the polls in 31,000 polling stations, in the second phase, 94 constituencies in 17 districts will go for the polls in 42,000 polling stations. Similarly, in the third phase, 78 assembly constituencies in 15 districts will go to polls in 33,500 polling stations, the ECI announced.

Out of these districts, 10 districts will have two phases of elections and 28 districts will have single phase elections. Patna and Bhagalpur will have elections in first as well as second phase, Arora said.

In eight districts of Darbhanga, Madhubani, Purba Champaran, Paschim Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur and Sitamarhi will have elections in second and third phases, the ECI announced.

The results will be out on November 10, the ECI announced.

For the first phase, the notification will be issued on October 1st and the nomination will close on October 8th. The last date for withdrawing candidature will be October 12. Similarly, in the second phase, the nominations will begin on October 9 while the last date for filing nomination will be October 16. Last date of withdrawing the candidature will be October 19.

In the third phase, the notification will be issued on October 13 and will close on October 20. The last date of withdrawing nomination will be October 23, he said.

The schedule has been prepared considering various factors such as COVID-19 and manoeuvring of the security personnel.

“Elections entail large scale deployment and movement of security forces from various parts of the country and we try to minimise their movement on long distances,” Sunil Arora said.

He further said, “The prevailing COVID situation and necessity of social distancing were also kept in mind.”

“Another factor that was taken into consideration was the upcoming festive season and clearance of our people,” he said.

A decision on the bye-elections in various states will be taken after a meeting with CEOs and Chief Secretaries of various states on September 29.

He said that among the precautionary steps taken, polling time will be increased by one hour and will now be from 7am to 6pm, except in areas affected by Maoist extremism, due to Covid-19. The number of maximum voters per polling station has been reduced to 1,000 from 15,00 earlier. All voters will also be asked to wear face masks; they will be asked to remove briefly for identification at the time of voting, the ECI announced.