New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti will be visiting Patna next month as the Commission looks at a window before festival season starts late October or to squeeze some phases between Dussehra and Diwali, which falls on Nov 11.
The Commissioners will meet with top administration and police officials besides representatives of political parties before taking a call on fixing the poll schedule, EC sources said.
The term of the 243-member Bihar assembly ends on November 29 and the new House should be in place before that.
As the Commission prepares to publish the final electoral rolls on July 31, a team sent by the poll panel to Bihar briefed the commission today about the election preparedness of the official machinery.
The team briefed the Commission about progress in preparing the electoral rolls, vulnerability mapping of sensitive constituencies, awareness campaign for voters to get their names included in electoral rolls and threat perception.
Though the date of the full Commission's visit has not yet been finalised, it would be some time in August before taking a final call on the dates and the number of phases.
Since Bihar will be a stand-alone election, EC hopes to get the required number of personnel from central forces for the assembly polls without much of an ado.
The festival of chhatt, which is an important event in Bihar, falls six days after Diwali.
Election Commission had dispatched four special teams of auditors to the state for weeding out duplicate entries from electoral rolls.
The four teams comprising six officers each are part of the Commission's newly-set up Regulatory Audit Division and Bihar is their first assignment.
The Audit Division has been mandated to detect specific instances of non-adherence to the Commission's guidelines or legal provisions required to be followed by the field election machinery.
Soon after the publication of electoral rolls on July 31, the state electoral machinery will commence the process of updation of electoral rolls to ensure that those left out are included.