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Bihar elections live updates: Voting in 71 Constituencies Begins

Voting for the first phase of the Bihar Assembly election has begun with the electorate queuing up at polling booths. Voters are exercising their franchise in 71 constituencies out of the total 243 in the state. Of the nearly 2.15 crore electors eligible to exercise the franchise, 1.12 crore are male, 1.01 crore female and 599 are from the third gender. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission of India has issued elaborate guidelines for the three-phase elections in the state. 

Some of the major guidelines include wearing face masks, maintaining social distance inside and outside polling booths, regular sanitization of polling booths and thermal scanning of voters. The ECI has also allowed the Covid-19 patients, symptomatic and asymptomatic, who are under either institutional or home quarantine, to vote through postal ballots. 

On the campaigning trails, the issue of unemployment has hogged much limelight, with the RJD promising 10 lakh government jobs if voted into power. The BJP has also come up with the promise of four lakh government jobs. The core issues in this year’s assembly election have been health care, women empowerment and education. 

Political parties have also held rallies across the state in the run-up to the first phase of polling. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, the incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Chief Chirag Paswan have held rallies to win over the support of the electorate.

Today, PM Modi will address three rallies in the state-Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Patna, whereas, Rahul Gandhi will address two rallies Valmikinagar and Kusheshwar Asthan constituencies.  

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