New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday announced protocols for the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections in adherence with health guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19 during polling. Also Read - Malayalam Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran Tests Positive for COVID-19 This Time, Urges Contacts to Isolate or Get Tested

The CEC said that the need for holding Assembly elections was being felt even during the crisis phase. Also Read - 'Why Will I Have Problems With my Parents?' PV Sindhu Denies Family Rift After Leaving National Camp

“As days and months passed and COVID-19 showed no signs of abetting, it was realised that some way would have to be found to balance the democratic rights of the electorate while also making sincere and systematic efforts to protect health and safety of people. The term of the Assembly in Bihar is due to expire on November 29. Bihar Assembly has a strength of 243 members, of whom 38 seats are reserved for SCs and two for STs,” Arora said. Also Read - Navratri 2020: Patients Perform 'Garba' With Health Workers at Mumbai's COVID-19 Center | Watch

“The Commission has already made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of Medical Counseling Committee (MCC) guidelines,” he said.

Here are the major announcements made by the CEC:

  • Voting period will be extended by one hour and votes could be cast from 7 am till 6 pm, except for in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected areas.
  • People above the age of 80 years will be allowed to cast their votes using postal ballot.
  • Seven 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.
  • All physical contact has been restricted in campaigning; only virtual campaigning to be held.
  • Number of people who can congregate has been restricted. District Election Officers will identify numbers where public gatherings are permissible (adhering to social distancing norms).
  • Nomination and affidavit can be filled up online and print out submitted to RO.
  • Security deposits can be submitted online.
  • Number of persons accompanying candidate for submission of nomination has been restricted to two. Number of vehicles also restricted to two.
  • Door-to-door campaign restricted to five persons.

Special provisions for Covid-19 patients:

  • COVID positive persons will be able to cast their ballot in the last hour of polling in their polling booth in strict supervision of health authorities.

Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar-2020:

Poll Events

Phase-I (71 ACs)

Phase-II (94 ACs)

Phase-III (78 ACs)

Date of Issue of Notification

01.10.2020
(Thursday)

09.10.2020
(Friday)

13.10.2020
(Tuesday)

Last date of making nomination

08.10.2020
(Thursday)

16.10.2020
(Friday)

20.10.2020
(Tuesday)

 

Date of Scrutiny

09.10.2020
(Friday)

17.10.2020
(Saturday)

21.10.2020
(Wednesday)

Last date of withdrawal

12.10.2020
(Monday)

19.10.2020
(Monday)

23.10.2020
(Friday)

 

Date of Poll

28.10.2020
(Wednesday)

03.11.2020
(Tuesday)

07.11.2020
(Saturday)

 

Date of Counting

10.11.2020
(Tuesday)

10.11.2020
(Tuesday)

10.11.2020
(Tuesday)

Date of completion

12.11.2020
(Thursday)

12.11.2020
(Thursday)

12.11.2020
(Thursday)