NEW DELHI: The ruling BJP on Friday (September 25, 2020) exuded confidence that the NDA alliance will get a majority in the soon to be conducted Bihar assembly election 2020 and Nitish Kumar will become the Chief Minister again.
“We are confident that NDA will get a majority and Nitish Kumar ji will be Chief Minister again, Union Minister and BJP MP from Patna Sahib Ravi Shankar Prasad said soon after the Election Commission announced the full schedule for conducting assembly elections in Bihar from October 28.
Meanwhile, the state’s main opposition party – RJD – said that it will fight against the alleged misrule of NDA and uproot the ruling coalition in Bihar.
“We welcome the decision of Election Commission. We are assured as people of Bihar want to get rid of this government. JD(U) does not matter in the election, our fight is against BJP,” RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said.
Earlier, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, Sunil Arora announced that the Bihar assembly election 2020 will be held in three phases beginning from October 28 amid strict COVID-19 protocols. “Bihar assembly election 2020 will be held in three phases from October 28 and November 7, and the counting of votes will be held on November 10,” the CEC said.
“In the first phase, elections will be held in 71 Assembly constituencies. In the second phase, 94 Assembly constituencies will go to polls. In the third phase, polling will be held in 78 Assembly constituencies,” the CEC said in a press conference adding that ”the counting of votes for all seats will take place on November 10.”
Addressing the press conference, the CEC said that these will be perhaps the largest election anywhere in the world during Covid-19, and listed precautionary measures taken by the poll panel and authorities.
Among the steps taken, CEC Arora said that polling time will be increased by one hour and will now be from 7 AM to 6 PM, except in areas affected by Maoist extremism. As we talk, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) stands enforced with this announcement. The Commission has already made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of MCC guidelines: Chief Election Commissioner,” CEC Sunil Arora said.
“To further decongest polling stations and allow more free movement of voters, polling time has been increased by 1 hour. It’ll be held from 7 AM – 6 PM, instead of 7 AM – 5 PM earlier. However, this will not be applicable to Left-wing affected areas,” CEC Sunil Arora said while addressing a press conference to announce the schedule for Bihar assembly polls.
The CEC informed that “Covid-19 patients who’re quarantined will be able to cast their vote on the last day of poll, at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health authorities. This is beside the option of the postal facility already extended to them.”
The CEC said that 7 lakh hand sanitisers, 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh face shields and 23 lakh pairs of hand gloves have been arranged for Bihar polls. Social distancing norms will need to be followed at public gatherings during the poll campaign.
Arora further said anyone using social media for mischievous purposes, such as for flaring communal tension, during elections will have to face consequences, while hate speech will be also dealt with harshly by the Election Commission.
The CEC warned that ”social media platforms are expected to make adequate arrangements to safeguard against misuse of their platforms & set up strict protocols to handle such issues as and when they arise.”
The Assembly elections for 243 seats in Bihar are due in October-November and the tenure of the current Assembly is scheduled to end on November 29.