Fewer phases of polling for Bihar elections due to corona scare

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has decided to deploy 300 companies, roughly 30,000 paramilitary personnel for the three-phase Bihar Assembly polls starting Oct 27.

Since these are the first major elections being held since the corona pandemic spread all over India, security personnel would be given special training in managing health protocols during polling and counting.

Assembly elections in Bihar are scheduled to be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and 7. Counting of votes and results will be on November 10.

Following detailed consultations with the Home Ministry, the Election Commission decided to limit the number of phases of polling in Bihar in order to minimise the movement of security personnel and ensure the safety of polling staff.

"Since elections involve large-scale deployment of security forces all efforts have been made to minimise their movement. This is due to the fatigue factor as well as a Covid-19 precaution. The number of phases has been limited to three due to this,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

 Also for the first time all security personnel being deployed for polling duty will be briefed in detail about health protocols and safety measures that they will have to follow while on duty. Security personnel will ensure that voters follow health safety measures laid down by the Health Ministry.

Both Home Ministry and the poll panel are confident that they would be able to contain the spread of coronavirus in Bihar during the elections. In the wake of the rapid spread of corona in Bihar due to which the lockdown was extended in some parts of the state, it was anticipated that Assembly elections might be postponed. Some regional political parties had made similar demands but the Election Commission finally decided to go ahead with the polls.



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