New Delhi, September 25: Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 will take place in three phases between October 28 and November 7, the Election Commission of India announced on Friday. This is the first major state election that is set to take place in India amid COVID-19. Voting  will take place on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The Bihar Election Results 2020 will be announced on November 10, when the Commission has scheduled the counting of votes. Check Full Details of Phase 1 Schedule.

CEC Sunil Arora, while releasing the dates, announced that the number of polling booths will be increased as the number of voters per booth has been capped at 1,000 instead of 1,500 at present. The voting time has also been increased by one hour in view of the pandemic. Check Complete Details of Phase 2 Schedule.

"COVID-19 patients who're quarantined will be able to cast their vote on the last day of poll, at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health authorities. This is beside the option of postal facility already extended to them," the polling body chief said.

Bihar Elections 2020: Phase 1 Schedule

  • Polls to be held on October 28
  • 71 constituencies to be contested.
  • The seats are spread in 16 districts including those affected by left-wing extremism.

Issue of Notification October 1
Last Date of Candidature October 8
Date of Scrutiny October 9
Late Date of Withdrawal October 12
Date of Polls October 28
Date of Results Nov 10

Bihar Elections 2020: Phase 2 Schedule

  • Voting to be held on November 3.
  • 94 seats across 17 districts to be contested.

Issue of Notification October 9
Last Date of Candidature October 16
Date of Scrutiny October 17
Late Date of Withdrawal October 19
Date of Polls November 3
Date of Results Nov 10

Bihar Elections 2020: Phase 3 Schedule

  • Voting to be held on November 7.
  • 78 seats in 15 districts would be contested.

Issue of Notification October 13
Last Date of Candidature October 20
Date of Scrutiny October 21
Late Date of Withdrawal October 23
Date of Polls November 7
Date of Results Nov 10

As part of the preparations in view of COVID-19, over 7 lakh hand sanitiser units, about 46 lakh masks, 6 lakh PPE kits, 6.7 lakh units of faces-shields, 23 lakh (pairs of) hand gloves arranged. For voters specifically, 7.2 crore single-use hand gloves are arranged, the CEC said.

"As days and months passed and COVID-19 showed no signs of abetting, it was realised that some way would have to be found to balance the democratic rights of the electorate while also making sincere and systematic efforts to protect health and safety of people," Arora said.

The term of the 243-member Bihar legislative assembly ends on November 29. The assembly has a strength of 243 members, of whom 38 seats are reserved for SCs and two for STs. In Bihar Elections 2015, voting was held over five-phases from October 12 to November 5, while the results were declared on November 8.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is looking at a fourth consecutive term for him at the helm of the state with the JDU-BJP alliance. Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD, in alliance with the Congress and with support from the SP, is looking to defeat the NDA.

In the assembly polls held five years ago, the electoral battlelines were differently drawn as arch rivals Nitish and Lalu were on same side of the fence. They had partnered with the Congress to form a mahagathbandhan, which ended up defeating the alliance of BJP-LJP-RLSP-HAM(S) combine.

The results of 2015, which had starkly differed from the opinion and exit polls, showed the JD(U) winning 71 out of the 100 seats it contested, the RJD bagging 80 out of the 100 constituencies where it fielded its candidates and the Congress registering a victory in 27 out of the 40 seats it had fought.

On the other hand, the BJP was reduced to 53 seats, LJP 2, RLSP 2 and HAM(S) 1. Nitish Kumar was subsequently sworn-in as the Chief Minister for the fifth time. In July 2017, the CM had briefly resigned after ending the alliance with the RJD and Congress. A day later, he was again sworn-in as the Chief Minister for seventh time, as he returned to the NDA camp.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 25, 2020 01:15 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website