Bihar polls: Participate in ‘festival of democracy’, Modi tells voters

Modi urged voters to take precautions of social distancing, wearing mask

modi-address-pti (File) Narendra Modi | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged voters to cast their votes in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly election and participate in the "festival of democracy" while taking precautions against COVID-19.

Polling began on Wednesday morning in 71 Assembly constituencies of Bihar in the first phase of three-phase elections amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines in place.

"Today is the first phase of voting in the Bihar Assembly elections. I urge all voters to ensure their participation in this festival of democracy while taking precautions against COVID," Modi said in a tweet in Hindi.

"Be mindful of maintaining 'do gaz doori', wear a mask," he said.

"Remember, first vote, then refreshments!" he added.

More than two crore voters in Bihar will decide the fate of 1,066 candidates on Wednesday across 71 Assembly segments in the first phase of elections.

Guidelines have been issued by the Election Commission for safe conduct of the electoral exercise, which takes place in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

These include lowering the cap on the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering of polling hours and postal ballot facility for those aged above 80, or those afflicted with or suspected to be carrying the contagion.

Besides, sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and availability of thermal scanner, provision of hand sanitiser, soap and water will be ensured.

The Bihar polls are being held in three phases: October 28, November 3 and November 7. The results will be out on November 10.


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