Bihar assembly election 2020: Election Commission increases vote-counting stations to ensure social distancing
As the counting of votes in Bihar is set to take place on Tuesday, the number of stations has been increased in order to maintain social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bihar’s chief election commissioner HR Srinivasa said on Monday. “This year we have 55 counting stations compared to the usual number of 38, which corresponds to the number of districts, in the state. This has been done to increase social distancing,” Srinivasa was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The poll panel said it has set up 55 counting centres, housing 414 halls, spread across all the 38 districts of the state. The maximum three counting centres each have been set up in four districts of East Champaran (which has 12 assembly constituencies), Gaya (10 constituencies), Siwan (eight constituencies) and Begusarai (seven). Rest other districts either have one or two counting centres each.
The election regulatory body has also stepped up the security arrangements at the centres and has deployed 59 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain general law and order in the state. “The Election Commission gave 19 companies of paramilitary forces to guard strongrooms. They are the innermost core of counting centres’ security,” Srinivasa added.
The counting of votes that were polled for the election of a new government in the state will begin at 8am on Tuesday. The polls to the 243-seat assembly were held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7.
The Nitish Kumar-fronted National Democratic Alliance government is looking to retain another term with the Janata Dal (United) president as the chief minister candidate even as most exit polls, which have often been off the mark in the past, have predicted an edge for the Tejashwi Yadav-led Grand Alliance, or Mahagathbandhan, comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the Left parties in the state.
If the predictions turn out to be correct, the 31-year-old RJD leader will be the youngest chief minister any state of the country has ever had. Prior to this MOH Farook became the chief minister of Union territory of Puducherry at the age of 29, while Satish Prasad Singh, at the age of 32, was elected to the post in Bihar in 1968.
Tuesday’s counting will also decide the political fate of nearly a score of ministers. Prominent among them are Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Pramod Kumar (Motihari), Rana Randhir (Madhuban), Suresh Sharma (Muzaffarpur), Shrawan Kumar (Nalanda), Jai Kumar Singh (Dinara) and Krishnanandan Prasad Verma (Jehanabad).
(With agency inputs)