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NEW DELHI: Stage is set for crucial assembly elections in Bihar, with the Election Commission (EC) on Friday announcing that polls in the state will be conducted in three phases -- on 28 October, 3 November and 7 November. Counting will take place on 10 November.

The tenure of Bihar legislative assembly ends on 29 November.

“Model Code of Conduct (MCC) stands enforced as we talk," chief election commissioner Sunil Arora said in the press conference on Friday.

Bihar chief Nitish Kumar and senior leaders of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will face electoral test to remain in power in the state for the fourth consecutive term.

Also, for the first time the main opposition party, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which wants to defeat Kumar, will be contesting polls in the absence of its leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former chief minister of Bihar.


“(As per) Reports from field units and collated by CEO (Chief Electoral Officer) Bihar, there were about 18.87 lakh migrants across 38 districts of Bihar. Out of this, 16.6 lakh were eligible to vote being more than 18 years. 13.93 lakhs had their names already on the rolls. During the process of continuous updation, 2.3 lakh voters were registered and process of updation is still on," Arora said.

Migrants, particularly from Bihar, were among the worst affected during the three-month lockdown, imposed to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Time of polling in the state has been extended by one hour till 6PM, except those in LWE areas. The last hour of polling will be for those who are covid-19 positive or in quarantine.


Stakes are high for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which has a strong alliance in the state but has been facing problem from allies on seat sharing as the Lok JanShakti Party (LJP) led by union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has not demanded a greater share of seats but has also questioned Kumar's position as the chief minister.

However, NDA leaders are confident that the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Kumar would help the alliance retain power in the state.

This would be the first round of state elections since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in the country. EC has issued detailed guidelines keeping in mind health concerns and social distancing norms.

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