The 2020 Bihar election will be the first Assembly election to take place in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The dates of election will be declared on Friday by India’s Election Commission.
The assembly is slated to expire this year in November. In the times of Corona, several polticial parties earler asked the comission to defer the election dates in state.
However, In August, in the midst of the pandemic, the EC issued a standardised manual for conducting polls and by-polls. Going by that, this year’s campaigning before the high-octane Bihar Assembly Elections will be a muted affair.
Here are the guidelines that should be followed in Bihar Election:
- Door-to-door campaign is subject to restrictions. Only five, including the candidate but excluding the security personnel, are allowed for door-to-door campaigning.
- The convoy of vehicles should be broken after every five vehicles instead of 10 vehicles.The interval between two sets of convoy of vehicles should be half an hour instead of gap of 100 meters.
- Every person shall wear face masks during every election-related activity.
- Thermal screening of all persons. Sanitizer, soap and water to be made available at every booth.
- Large halls should be identified as booths and counting centres so that social distancing can be maintained.
- Nomination form will be made available online. It can be filled online and its print may be taken out for submitting.
- Affidavit can also be filled online.
- Candidates can deposit security money online though the cash deposit option will also be there.
- Only two persons can accompany a candidate for submission of nomination.
- Only two vehicles will be allowed during the nomination filing process.
- Not more than 7 counting tables should be allowed in a counting hall. Hence, three to four halls may be taken up for the counting of votes of one constituency.
The maximum number of voters at a polling station in Bihar has been reduced from 1,500 to 1,000. The Election Commission earlier decided not to extend the postal ballot facility to voters over 65 years, citing challenges and constraints to implement this rule. The postal ballot rule would, however, be applicable for voters over the age of 80, disabled or those suffering from coronavirus.