BJP leader and Agriculture minister Prem Kumar
BJP leader and Agriculture minister Prem Kumar

BJP leader and Agriculture minister Prem Kumar on Wednesday seemed to have violated the model code of conduct as he enetred the polling station with scarf and mask displaying party's election symbol.

Prem Kumar is contesting the assembly election from Gaya Town.

As he arrived to cast his poll at a polling booth, he was seen wearing a scarf with BJP's election symbol. His mask also displayed the party's name and symbol. He was not stopped by any poll official or police personnel and was instead accomapnied to the polling booth by them.

When asked about violation of model code of conduct, the minister said, "I did not have any such intention. I always follow the model code of conduct."

Voting began on 71 constituencies across 16 districts in the first phase of Bihar Assembly election on Wednesday at 7 am.

As many as 1,066 candidates are in the fray including 42 from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), 35 from Janata Dal (United), 29 from BJP, 21 from Congress and 8 from Left parties.

A total of 2,14,84,787 electors are eligible to vote at EVMs today. Nearly half-a-dozen ministers from Nitish Kumar cabinet are in the fray in the first phase: Prem Kumar who is contesting from Gaya Town, Krishna Nandan Verma from Jehanabad, Santosh Kumar Nirala from Nirala, Jai Kumar Singh from Dinara, Ram Narayan Mandal from Banka and Vijay Kumar Sinha from Lakhisarai.

Former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi is contesting from Imamganj Assembly constituency where the RJD has pitted former Speaker of Bihar Assembly Uday Narayan Chaudhary.

The Election Commission has mandated face masks, hand sanitizers, thermal scanners, gloves, face shields, and PPE kits during the electoral process while ensuring social distancing norms.

It also laid down guidelines for each polling station, including sanitization a day before the poll, markers for social distancing, putting up of COVID-19 awareness posters, and availability of hand gloves.

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