Bihar is slated to go to polls in October-November later this year.
The Assembly elections in the eastern state of Bihar are likely to be held as per schedule in October-November despite opposition parties demanding a postponement in view of the worsening coronavirus situation in the state, a report in The Indian Express said.
Several opposition parties have been demanding that the Election Commission defer the polls and place the state under President’s rule. They have also written letters to the ECI. Similar demands have also come from the ruling NDA camp. The Lok Janshakti Party, which supports the Nitish Kumar government, has also favoured postponing the polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) have, however, not made any such demand for now and have stated that they are ready for the polls.
The IE report said that although a final call on holding elections will be taken by the Election Commission, the Bihar Chief Electoral Office has completed the training of electoral officers and the testing of EVMs. The EVMs have already reached all 38 districts in the state.
“There is a fixed calendar for us to follow before any polls. We have followed our calendar by making all requisite arrangements,” Bihar Additional Chief Electoral Officer Ranjita said.
To a question about the objections raised by several political parties, Ranjita said, “It is the EC that had to do it (postpone the polls).”
Citing an Election Commission source, the daily reported that elections in the state could be held in two or three phases if there was no further Covid surge by mid-September.
Meanwhile, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi wondered why there has been such brouhaha. He said, “Elections have been held amidst Covid in Sri Lanka, Israel and South Korea.”
In 2015, the Election Commission had on September 9 announced the dates for Bihar Assembly elections. Voting was held over five-phases from October 12 to November 5. The results were declared on November 8.
The session of the currently Legislative Assembly expires on November 29.