Saturday 24 October 2020

Bihar assembly election, bypolls to be held before 29 November

The bypolls to one Parliamentary and assembly constituencies in Bihar will be held along with assembly elections, the Election Commission of India has said.

On upcoming polls in Bihar, the EC said on 4 September, “Bihar polls have to be conducted before 29 November.”

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had earlier said that Bihar Assembly Election 2020 will be held as per schedule.

In an conversation with media, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had cleared the ambiguity surrounding Bihar election, while he added that Bihar’s chief electoral officer has been provided an additional number of EVMs, including VVPATs, keeping the pandemic in mind.

“Necessary preparations to conduct Bihar Assembly Elections in time are underway at the Election Commission, state and district level. Commission’s paramount concern is to ensure the safety of the health of voters and all involved in the conduct of elections while adhering to timelines and SOPs of the electoral process” the CEC had said.

The Election Commission last month issued a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) for the conduct of general and by-elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EC has said basic health protocols like face masks and social distancing will have to be followed during the elections. The Commission said that COVID-19 patients in quarantine will also be allowed to vote at the last hour of the polling day.

65 by-polls due in states to be held at same time: EC

All 65 bye-elections due in various states and the Bihar assembly elections will be held around the same time, a press release issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on 4 September read.

ECI reviewed the suggestions made by chief electoral officers of states concerned that bye-elections be deferred in view of the coronavirus pandemic and various other reasons such as heavy rainfall and flood-like conditions in several places.

Holding these elections around the same time would mean a relative ease of movement of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and other forces responsible for maintaining law and order during elections.

“Announcement of the schedule of Bihar assembly elections as well as these bye-elections will be done by the Commission at an appropriate time,” the ECI said.

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