Bihar assembly election 2020: Voting in 71 seats in 1st phase of polls today

The fate of more than a 1,000 candidates is on the line with more than 2 crore voters sheduled to caste their vote in the 1st phase of voting for 71 seats in Bihar on Wednesday. 

Bihar assembly election 2020: Voting in 71 seats in 1st phase of polls today

Patna: The 1st phase of voting for 71 seats in Bihar takes place on Wednesday (October 28, 2020) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The fate of more than a 1,000 candidates is on the line with more than 2 crore voters sheduled to caste their vote in the 3-phased polls. 

As per Election Commission data, of the 2.14 crore voters who will exercise their franchise, 1.01 crore are women and 599 belong to the third gender.

For the 71 assembly constituencies, the RJD has fielded 42 candidates, while fate of JDU's 35, BJP's 29, Congress' 21s, eight CPI-ML, six HAM and one VIP candidate will be sealed today. Among other parties there are 43 candidates of RLSP, 42 of LJP and 27 of BSP.

Read: List of constituencies that will go to polls in first phase

There are 952 men and 114 women candidates, with the most number (27) contesting from Gaya Town and the least (5) form Katoria in Banka district. Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) is contesting in 35 of the 71 seats, followed by its ally BJP (29), while the opposition RJD has fielded its candidates in 42 and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray in 20 assembly segments.

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While, six members of the state cabinet are in the fray in the first 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). Also, the reputation of Shailesh Kumar, Brijkishore Bind is on stakes in this election.

Due to the ongoing pandemic the EC has issued strict guidelines for the safe conduct of the electoral exercise. These include lowering the cap on the maximum number of voters for a polling booth to 1,000, staggered timings of polling hours and postal ballot facility for those aged above 80, or those afflicted with or suspected to be infected.

Also read: Political greenhorns too trying their luck in the first phase of Bihar Assembly polls

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is eyeing his fourth term with an alliance with BJP this year. In 2015, Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) fought polls with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress as part of the Mahagathbandhan. The BJP-led NDA had fought elections with LJP and other allies. The JD-U later returned to NDA and formed the government.

Notably, Bihar Assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3, and 7, while the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

There are 952 men and 114 women candidates, with the most number (27) contesting from Gaya Town and the least (5) form Katoria in Banka district. Among the major political parties, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) is contesting in 35 of the 71 seats, followed by its ally BJP (29), while the opposition RJD has fielded its candidates in 42 and its coalition partner Congress is in the fray in 20 assembly segments.