In Bihar, polling is underway for the Second Phase of State Assembly Elections amid tight security arrangements. Polling is being held in 94 constituencies spread over 17 districts including Patna, Vaishali, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga and Madhubani in this phase. Around 19.26 per cent of eligible voters exercised their franchise till 11 a.m. Voting began at 7 a.m. and it will close at 6 p.m. Over 2.86 crore voters will decide the fate 1,463 candidates. They include 146 women and one transgender.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. Chief Electoral Officer H.R. Srinivasa said, polling will be upto 4 p.m. in eight Naxal-affected constituencies including Raghopur, Paru, Minapur and Alauli. Out of 41 thousand 362 booths, eight thousand 694 booths are sensitive. Election Commission has made arrangements of live webcasting from 3,548 booths.
Additional Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kumar Singh said security forces have been deployed in Naxal-infested areas to ensure trouble-free polling.
Election Commission has issued orders to follow COVID-19 protocol during the conduct of elections. Every person has been instructed to wear mask during election related activities.
The voters have to wear mask during exercising their right of franchise. Thermal scanning of all persons will be carried out and sanitizers will be made available at all locations during polling. All polling booths have already been sanitized. In view of COVID situation, only one thousand electors will exercise their right of franchise at each Polling Station instead of 1,500.
BJP is contesting on 46 seats, JD(U) on 43 and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) on five seats in this phase. While RJD is contesting on 56 seats, Congress has fielded 24 candidates. LJP has fielded 52 candidates, RLSP-36, BSP-33 and NCP-29 candidates.
This phase is crucial for RJD as the party had won 33 seats in 2015 assembly elections. JD(U) won 30 seats while BJP 20 and Congress seven seats. Four others were also elected.
Chief Ministerial candidate of Grand Alliance Tejaswi Yadav is seeking re-election from Raghopur constituency. Political fortunes of four Cabinet Ministers of Nand Kishore Yadav, Shravan Kumar, Rana Randhir and Ram Sevak Singh will be decided in this phase.
Elections are being held in three phases for 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly. The First Phase polling was held on 28th of October, while Third and Final Phase polling will be held on 7th of November. Counting of votes will be taken up on 10th of November.