Bihar polls in 3 phases from Oct 28: Highlights of COVID-19 guidelines for Assembly elections

The Election Commission on Friday announced the schedule of the Bihar Assembly elections. The poll body said that voting for Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, followed by counting of votes on November 10.

The electoral exercise, one of the biggest in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place under elaborate guidelines.

According to the Election Commission, 7 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 243-member Bihar assembly polls.

Here are the highlights of COVID-19 guidelines to be followed during Bihar Assembly elections:

1. The Election Commission has revised the norms of number of persons accompanying the candidate for submission of Nominations is restricted to 2 (two) instead of 5 (five) persons.

2. The number of vehicles for the purposes of nomination is restricted to 2 (two) instead of 3 (three) vehicles.

3. It has also created facility for filing in the nomination form and the affidavit online and submission of same after taking print before the RO concerned.

4. For the first time, the candidates will be able to deposit security amount for contesting the elections online.

5. Keeping the containment guidelines in view, the Commission has limited the number of persons including candidate for door to door campaign to 5 (five).

6. The convoy of vehicles in road show should be broken after every 5 (five) vehicles instead of 10 vehicles (excluding the security vehicles, if any). The interval between two sets of convoy of vehicles should be half an hour instead of gap of 100 meters.

7. Public meeting and road shows shall be permissible with suitable instructions subject to containment instructions issued by the MHA/State.

8. Face Mask, Sanitizer, Thermal scanners, gloves, Face shield and PPE kits shall be use during the electoral process ensuring social distancing norms.

9. The Chief Electoral Officer of the State, has been directed to make a comprehensive State Election Plan following the guidelines relating to arrangement and preventive measures, in consultation with Nodal Officer for COVID-19 in the state, to conduct General Elections, during the period of containment measures for COVID-19.

10. Similarly, the District Election Officers shall make comprehensive District Election Plan relating to arrangement and preventive measures in consultation with Nodal Officer for COVID in their district to conduct election.

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Free Press Journal