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Bihar Election 2020 phase 1: Over 2 crore voters to decide fate of 1,066 candidates

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Bihar Assembly Election 2020 phase 1 voting today.

Bihar Assembly Election 2020, first of the total three phase poll, is set to take place today. The election in the first phase will take place across 71 constituencies with more than 2 crore voters who will decide the fate of 1,066 candidates. Guidelines have been issued by the Election Commission for safe conduct of the electoral exercise. This is going to be the first assembly election in the country in the time of pandemic. 

Bihar Assembly Election 2020 first phase polling | All you need to know

  • Of the 2.14 crore voters who will exercise their franchise, 1.01 crore are women and 599 belong to the third gender, according to data provided by the Election Commission.
  • The candidates include 952 men and 114 women, the maximum number (27) being in the fray at Gaya Town and the minimum (5) at Katoria in Banka district.
  • Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar‘s JD(U) is contesting in 35 of the 71 seats, followed by its ally BJP (29), while the opposition RJD has fielded its candidates in 42 and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray in 20 assembly segments.
  • Lok Janshakti Party, headed by Chirag Paswan, is in the fray in 41 seats, which include all the 35 contested by the JD(U), in keeping with the call given by the young party president, who recently pulled out of the NDA in the state, to “dislodge” the chief minister from power.

India Tv - Bihar Election 2020, Bihar Elections

Image Source : PTI

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses an election meeting, in Nalanda district.

  • Prominent candidates include Shreyasi Singh, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist shooter who is making her debut at the age of 27 as the BJP candidate from Jamui.
  • Chirag Paswan, who represents Jamui Lok Sabha and insists that he remains loyal to the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has assured full support of his party to the young debutant.
  • Shreyasi Singh is pitted against Vijay Prakash Yadav of the RJD, the sitting MLA whose elder brother Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav is a former Union minister and a close aide of party supremo Lalu Prasad.

ALSO READ | Bihar Assembly Elections to be held in 3 phases from Oct 28 to Nov 7; counting of votes on Nov 10

  • Notably, the former Union minister’s 28-year-old daughter Divya Prakash is also making her debut in the adjoining Tarapur constituency as the candidate of her father’s party.
  • 6 members of the state cabinet Prem Kumar (Gaya Town), Vijay Kumar Sinha (Lakhisarai), Ram Narayan Mandal (Banka), Krishnanandan Prasad Verma (Jehanabad), Jaikumar Singh (Dinara) and Santosh Kumar Nirala (Rajpur) are in the fray in the first phase. Of the six, Verma, Singh and Nirala belong to the JD(U), while the remaining are from the BJP.
  • The JD(U) ministers seek to win their seats contending with the LJP factor.

India Tv - Bihar Election 2020, Bihar Elections

Image Source : PTI

Security personnel carry Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) ahead of the first phase of Bihar assembly polls, in Aurangabad district.

  • Moreover, Verma, who has held key portfolios like education and social welfare, faces the additional challenge of wresting an RJD bastion for his party, having been asked to shift base from Ghosi where the JD(U) has fielded Rahul Kumar.
  • Kumar’s father Jagdish Sharma, disqualified upon conviction in the fodder scam, had formerly represented the Ghosi assembly seat as well as the Jehanabad Lok Sabha constituency.
  • The reserved Imamganj seat in Gaya district, which falls under Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency, will see a proverbial clash of titans.
  • Former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitan Ram Manjhi, who is the NDA candidate, is the sitting MLA.
  • His bid to retain the seat is challenged by his predecessor Uday Narayan Chaudhary who had been associated with the JD(U) till a few years ago but is now in the fray as the RJD nominee.
  • The guidelines for election in the covid era include lowering the cap on the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering of polling hours and postal ballot facility for those aged above 80, or those afflicted with or suspected to be carrying the contagion. 
  • Besides, sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap and water will be ensured.

ALSO READBihar Election 2020: Know voting date in your constituency – Full Schedule


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