Home Politics Bihar voting percentage elections 2020 LIVE updates: Voting underway in 71 seats...

Bihar voting percentage elections 2020 LIVE updates: Voting underway in 71 seats for phase 1; over 1,000 candidates in fray

Bihar voting percentage elections 2020 LIVE updates: More than two crore voters are set to decide the fate of 1,066 candidates across 71 Assembly seats in the first phase

Representational Image. Reuters

Bihar voting percentage elections 2020 LATEST updates: Polling for the first phase of the 243-seat Bihar Assembly elections is underway with precautionary arrangements in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than two crore voters are set to decide the fate of 1,066 candidates across 71 Assembly segments in the first phase.

Polling will be held between 7 am and 6 pm, with the last hour being set aside for those who have contracted COVID-19 or who are in quarantine.

In the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, the first phase of polling in 49 constituencies saw a voter turnout of 57 percent while the overall voter turnout was 56.91 percent, up from 52.7 percent in 2010. Notably, the poll percentage among women at 59.92 percent exceeded https://twitter.com/SimpsonsQOTD/status/1321114826584793089men (56.8 percent) as per a  report in The Times of India.

As per data provided by the Election Commission, 1.01 crore of the 2.14 crore voters who will exercise their franchise on Wednesday are women while 599 belong to the third gender,

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.

The ruling alliance of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJPU and the Janata Dal (United), which has also joined hands with former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awami Morcha (HAM) and with the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) is fighting the Mahagathabandhan of the RJ(D), Congress and Left parties to retain power in the state.

Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) is contesting 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.

Prominent candidates

Prominent candidates include Shreyasi Singh, the Commonwealth Games gold medalist shooter who is making her political debut at the age of 27 as the BJP candidate from Jamui.

Shreyasi 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.

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.

Half a dozen 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 also fighting the electoral battle in the first phase.

Of the six, Verma, Singh and Nirala belong to the JD(U), while the remaining are from the BJP.

The reserved Imamganj seat in Gaya district, which falls under Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency, will see a proverbial clash of titans. NDA candidate Jitan Ram Manjhi’s bid to retain the seat faces a challenge from his predecessor Uday Narayan Chaudhary who had been associated with the JD(U) till a few years ago but has now been fielded by the RJD.

Coronavirus guidelines

In view of the coronavirus pandemic raging across the country, the poll panel had issued guidelines for the safe conduct of the elections. These include lowering the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggered polling hours and a postal ballot facility for those aged above 80, or those afflicted with or suspected to be carrying the virus.

Besides, electronic voting machines will have to be sanitised, polling officials will have to wear masks and other protective gear and availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap, and water will be ensured.

The second and third phase of elections are scheduled to be held on 3 and 7 November. The results will be announced on 10 November.

With inputs from PTI

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