Bihar officials share experience with five poll-bound states on how to conduct polls amid Covid safely

Express News Service
PATNA: Bihar election officals who successfully conducted the country’s first stand-alone assembly elections during the COVID-19 pandemic period will be sharing tips with their counterparts in five poll-bound states.

The states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, TN and Pudducherry are scheduled to go to polls this year and it is learnt that Bihar officials along with state chief election officer HR Srinivas have started sharing their experience and also tips through video conferencing.

The officials will share details on efforts taken like an app developed for the Bihar polls. They will also share the strategy used for booth-managements, force deployments, adherence to safety protocols and distribution of safety kits among the poll personnel. 

Election officials also shared about proper uploading of details of criminal records of candidates coming into the fray.

Since Bihar was the first state to introduce ballot papers for voters with physical disability and those abouve 80-years of age, officials have also shared the strategy behind it.

Recently, Bihar CEO HR Srinivas had visited Tamil Nadu and Pudduchery and shared the tips with elections officials in the states.

Officials of other departments involved in the election process have also shared strategy details over video conference

“Whatever we have learnt, the tips and information having conducted safe elections in the Covid times in Bihar are shared with officers of other poll bound states through proper channels”, said Bihar CEO HR Srinivas.

He said that it was indeed a tough task to conduct polls in Bihar after the COVID-19 outbreak but it was completed successfully thanks to team effort of officials and all departments under the continuous guidance of chief Election officer of India with his team of experts.

Principal health secretary Pratyay Amrit said that a request for a detailed presentation on steps taken in adherence to the COVID-19 safety and arrangements hasbeen received from poll-bound Assam government recently. “A team of health officials will soon visit Assam and if needed other poll-bound states also”, he said.

According to official sources, Bihar had made arrangements for 7.3 crore of voters and procured 18 lakhs face shields, 70 lakhs face masks, 5.4 lakhs single-use hand gloves for personnel involved in election duty.

Nearly 10 lakhs of ASHA workers and Jeevika didis associated with SHGs were trained and mobilised for packaging safety kits at Gaya, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Purnia and the kits were dispatched timely. For poll waste collection, collection baskets were put up in each booth and truck were arranged for transport and dumping of the waste.