New Delhi (PTI): Bihar will have five-phase Assembly elections between October 12 and November 5 and counting of votes will take place on November 8.
Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi today said polls to the 243-seat Assembly will be held on October 12, 16, 28, November 1 and 5.
The term of the current Assembly expires on November 29. Noting that a number of important festivals like Dussehra, Eid, Muharram, Diwali and Chhath will fall in the election period, he said the Commission will ensure communal harmony and peace.
Flanked by Election Commissioners Achal Kumar Jyoti and Om Prakash Rawat, Zaidi told a press conference that more than adequate security arrangements have been made by the election body to ensure peaceful, free and fair polls in state where over 47 constituencies are hit by Naxal violence.
There are over 6.68 crore voters in the state. BJP-led NDA and the grand alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his foe-turned-friend Lalu Prasad and Congress are locked in a close fight with the election results likely to have a strong bearing on the national political scene.
The polls have been billed as a must-win for BJP if it is to restore the political momentum in favour of Narendra Modi government after suffering reverses over a host of issues, starting from its rout in Delhi Assembly polls and failure to push ahead with reforms like land bill and GST.