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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday and announced the dates for the Bihar Legislative Assembly elections which will be held in three phases.

The first phase of polling for the 243 member House will be held on October 28, while the second and third phase will be held on November 3 and 7, respectively. The results will be announced on November 10.

For Bihar polls, the voting hours have been increased by an hour. So, voting will happen from 7 am to 6 pm, instead of the usual 7 am to 5 pm. However, this will not be the case in case of Maoists-affected areas.

A maximum of 1000 voters will be allowed to cast their votes in a particular booth instead of the earlier 1,500, because of the COVID-19 situation.

The Model Code of Conduct has come into force in the State with the declaration of the election dates by the ECI.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, several restrictions will have to be followed for campaigning and polling to ensure the safety of leaders and voters.

CEC Arora said that the Bihar polls are likely to be the largest elections conducted during the pandemic given that there are 72.9 million voters in the state.

All polling stations will have gloves, masks, sanitisers. All physical meetings have been curtailed for election meetings and campaigns.

All polling stations will be on the ground floor for the convenience of people with disabilities. Transport, wheelchairs, ramps and other provisions will also be available.

Covid patients who are 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 in addition to the option of the postal ballot facility that has already been extended to them.

“All safety protocols must be followed strictly as laid down by the Health Ministry. This will be monitored real-time by both the election officials as well as the health authorities,” said Arora.

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