M A I N   N E W S

Bihar polls from Oct 21

Numbers Game

Electorate: 5.5 crore
Total seats: 243
Polling stations: 56943
Last phase polling: Nov 20
Counting: Nov 24

New Delhi, September 6
Bihar will have a six-phase poll from October 21 to November 20, the first major poll exercise that would test the mood of the people after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

An estimated 5.5 crore electorate would exercise their franchise to elect a 243-member House in the month-long exercise with polling for the sixth and final phase ending on November 20. The counting of votes would take place on November 24. The second, third, fourth and fifth phases would be held on October 24, 28, November 1 and November 9, respectively. Polling would be held through electronic voting machines in 56,943 polling stations spread across the state.

The announcement was made by Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi along with other two Election Commissioners VS Sampath and HS Brahma at a press conference here today. Quraishi said that the code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect and the ‘Exit’ and ‘Opinion Polls’ would be banned during the poll exercise.

On the Naxal threat in the elections, the CEC said: "We have taken into consideration the ground reality and we have adequate forces to ensure free and fair polls.”

On Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's plea for the availability of Central forces in all polling booths, he said the poll panel would keep the request in mind while deciding the deployment plan. Bypolls for Banka Lok Sabha seat, which became vacant following the death of sitting MP Digvijay Singh, will be held on November 1.

The poll exercise is starting a week after the closing of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi to make available adequate Central forces.





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