All eyes are on October 28 when people of Bihar start voting for the first phase of elections. A total of 1,066 candidates are in the fray for 71 assembly seats spread across 16 districts. Candidates include 952 men and 114 women. Over 2 crore people will exercise their franchise, out of which one crore are women.
Among the major political parties, CM Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) is contesting in 35 seats, followed by its ally BJP in 29 seats, while the RJD has fielded its candidates in 42 seats and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray on 20 seats
According to ADR, nearly 49 per cent of the candidates have declared their education qualification to be graduation or above. Prominent candidates include Shreyasi Singh, an Arjuna awardee, and a commonwealth gold medallist in the shooting. She will be contesting from Jamui Assembly seat. Singh has a strong political background as both her parents were MPs from the Banka constituency.
Six incumbent ministers will also go through a litmus test in this phase – Prem Kumar (Gaya Town), Vijay Kumar Sinha (Lakhisarai), Ram Narayan Mandal (Banka), Krishnanandan Prasad Verma (Jehanabad), Jaikumar Singh (Dinara), and Santosh Kumar Nirala (Rajpur)
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To allow more free movement of voters, polling time has been increased by 1 hour. It’ll be held from 7 am-6 pm, instead of 7 am-5 pm earlier.
COVID-19 patients who’re quarantined will be able to cast their vote on the last day of the poll under the supervision of health authorities
All physical contact has been prohibited
Not more than 1,000 voters can vote at one polling station
Logistics at polling stations
MASKS: 46 Lac
PPE KITS: 6 Lac
FACE SHIELDS: 6.7 Lac
HAND GLOVES: 23 Lac
The fight is between NDA, which consists of the BJP – JD(U), and Mahagathbandhan, which is made up of RJD, Congress, and Left parties.
There are tainted candidates in the fray as well. More than 30 per cent of candidates have criminal cases registered against them. Nearly 23 per cent are with serious criminal cases. Three candidates have declared rape cases against themselves. RJD tops the list with 73 per cent of the candidates having a criminal background, followed by the BJP at 72 per cent.
Constituencies such as Banka, Munger, Sheikhpura, Mokama, Arrah, Buxar, Mohania, Bhabua, Sasaram, Dehri, Aurangabad, Bodh Gaya, Gaya Town, Chakai, and others will go for polling in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly elections.