Patna, Nov 7 (IANS) Polling for the third and final phase of Bihar Assembly elections began at 7 a.m. on Saturday amid tight security arrangements in 78 Assembly constituencies in 15 districts of the state.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for polling, as well as norms put in place to maintain social distancing in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the state election commission, more than 2.35 crore voters will exercise their franchise in this phase for which 33,782 polling stations have been set up.
According to the Election Commission, the fate of 1,204 candidates will be decided in this phase, out of which 1,094 are men and 110 women. Gaighat has 31 candidates in the fray, the maximum, while Dhaka, Triveniganj, Jokihat and Bahadurganj have nine candidates each, the minimum number.
In the third phase, voters will be able to exercise their franchise in general Assembly constituencies from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. while from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in four Assembly constituencies. Security forces have been deployed at all polling booths. More elaborate security arrangements have been made in Seemanchal areas.
Among 15 districts, Kishanganj, Purnia, Araria and Katihar have dominance of Muslim community. As per the data of Election Commission, Kishanganj has maximum 60 per cent Muslim voters, followed by Araria with 45 per cent, Karihar 40 per cent and Purnia 35 per cent. These four districts have 24 Assembly constituencies.
Kosi has three prominent districts Saharsa, Madhepura and Supaul having majority of Yadav community while Muslim community is less than 20 per cent. These three districts jointly have 13 assembly constituencies.
In 2015, JU-U managed to bag 23 out of 78 seats. But it was a part of Mahagathbandhan, therefore, Muslim community voted in support of the party. The equation is likely to change as JD-U is again a part of the NDA. RJD won 20 seats while Congress 11 seats and the BJP managed to win 20 seats.
In Bihar, elections are being held for 243 assembly seats in three phases. Polling for the first phase was held on 71 seats on October 28 and 94 seats on November 3. Counting of votes will be held on November 10.