Bihar Assembly Election 2020: The counting of votes for Bihar Assembly elections 2020 starts tomorrow morning as the state awaits results of the fiercely fought election. This was the first major election held in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This year's contest in Bihar seems to be a direct one between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Mahagathbandhan. From the 'grand alliance', RJD is contesting in 144 seats, Congress in 70, and CPI(ML) in 19. From the NDA, the JD(U) is contesting in 115 seats and BJP in 110.
Bihar election result 2020: When will the votes be counted?
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The counting will commence at 8 am. To begin with, the postal ballots (cast by staff on poll duty and service voters) will be counted first, followed by EVM votes.
Bihar election result 2020: Security arrangement ahead of the counting
Bihar Chief Electoral Officer H R Srinivasa said the Election Commission has established a three-tier security system for strong rooms (housing the Electronic Voting Machines) and the counting centres. The inner core is being guarded by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), then there is the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and then the district police, he told reporters.
"We have deployed 19 companies of CAPF just for the security of the strong rooms and counting centres. Besides, we have 59 CAPF companies to ensure law and order during and in the aftermath of the counting process," he said.
One CAPF company comprises around 100 personnel. The CEO said the Election Commission will strictly deal with any "anti-social" elements who indulges in "hooliganism" during or in the aftermath of the counting. Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters) Jitendra Kumar said CCTV cameras have been installed in the control rooms. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been imposed in and around the counting centres to prevent gathering of people.
Bihar election result 2020: How will the votes be counted
The Election Commission has set up a total of 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. In the state capital Patna, votes for all the 14 assembly constituencies will be counted at just one centre set up at A N College.
Bihar election result 2020: Here's what Bihar election exit polls say
A majority exit polls released after the third and final round of polls suggest that Tejashwi Yadav-led Mahagathbandhan might have an edge over the NDA. But, who will actually get the magic figure of 122 in the house of 243 will be known only after the votes are counted on Tuesday.
Bihar election 2020: Voter turnout
Bihar recorded 57.05 per cent turnout in the assembly elections this time, marginally higher than that of 2015 despite the coronavirus pandemic, as per official data. The voter turnout in the elections held in 2015 was 56.66 per cent, the Election Commission data showed. Female voter turnout this year was 59.69 per cent, higher than that of the male voters -- 54.68 per cent.
This year's turnout was pushed up by relatively aggressive polling in the third phase in which 78 seats in the 15 districts of Kosi-Seemanchal, Mithilanchal and Tirhut voted.
Bihar election exit poll in 2015
In 2015, barring Axis APM, all the pollsters had failed to predict the outcome of Bihar Assembly elections. Today's Chanakya has forecast a two-thirds majority for the BJP-led NDA with 144-166 seats. NDTV, too, had predicted a BJP-led government in Bihar, the ABP-Nielsen exit poll had foreseen a Grand Alliance victory but failed to anticipate the extent of the success and the BJP’s reduced tally. The India Today-Cicero exit poll and two others had predicted a photo finish.