Bihar Polls: Polling began at 7 am on 94 assembly seats across 17 districts in the second phase of Bihar polls on Tuesday with precautionary measures against COVID-19 in place. Over 2.86 crore voters are eligible to cast their vote in the second phase which is also the largest of three phases of assembly poll in the state. There are 1,464 candidates in the fray including 46 from BJP, 43 from Janata Dal (United), 56 from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and 24 from Congress.
Five candidates from the Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP), which is part of the NDA, are also in the fray. From Mahagathbandhan, three Left parties are contesting on 14 seats (CPI-ML six, CPI and CPM on four each). The key candidates include former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad’s sons Tejashwi Yadav and Tej Pratap. Tejashwi, the chief ministerial candidate of Mahagathbandhan is contesting from Raghopur, while Tej Pratap, who is sitting MLA from Mahua, is contesting from Hasanpur.
Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav is seeking re-election from Patna Sahib. Polling was held for 71 constituencies in the first phase on October 28 with precautionary measures in place against the novel coronavirus.
Apart from NDA, Mahagathbandhan and a third front comprising RLSP, BSP, AIMIM and some other parties are contesting the election. There are also new entrants and smaller parties in the fray.
The Election Commission has already mandated face masks, hand sanitisers, 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. (ANI)