Prime News, National, Elections, Patna, October 28:- Polling is underway for the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections, amidst tight security arrangements, in 71 constituencies spread over 16 districts. The voting began at 7 am and will conclude at 6 pm.
In the first election being held amid COVID-19 pandemic in the country, over 2.14 crore voters will exercise their franchise and decide the political fate of 1,066 candidates. 114 women and 406 independent candidates are in the fray.
Chief electoral officer H R Srinivasa said “out of 71 constituencies, 35 are in Naxal-affected areas. Polling will be held up to 3 pm in four Naxal-affected constituencies of Chainpur, Nabinagar, Kutumba and Rafiganj while in other five Naxal-affected constituencies of Arwal, Kurtha, Jehanabad, Ghosi and Makhdumpur polling will be held up to 5 pm. In the remaining 26 Naxal-affected constituencies, voting will be held up to 4 pm.
Additional chief electoral officer Sanjay Kumar Singh said that central para military forces have been deployed in Naxal-infested areas to ensure peaceful polling.
Keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation, the Election Commission has issued strict guidelines to be followed during the polling. All personnel are directed to wear face mask during election-related activities. Thermal screening of all persons is being carried out and sanitisers are available at all locations during polling. All polling booths have been sanitised. Only 1,000 voters will exercise their franchise at each booth, instead of 1,500.
In NDA, BJP is contesting on 29 seats, JD(U) on 35 and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) on six seats in this phase. The Vikas Sheel Insaan Party (VIP) has fielded one candidate.
Among the Grand Alliance partners, RJD is contesting on 42 seats, while Congress has fielded 21 candidates and eight CPI-ML candidates are in the fray. Besides, LJP has fielded 42 candidates while RLSP on 43 and BSP on 27 seats.
Elections are being held in three phases for the 243-member Bihar assembly polls. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)