Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday encouraged voters to come out in large numbers following COVID-19 guidelines to cast their votes as polling began for phase 2 of Bihar assembly elections.
Bihar assembly elections are the first major elections being held in India after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. Prime Minister Modi urged voters to follow social distancing and wear face masks while casting their votes.
"Phase 2 of Bihar assembly elections will take place today. I appeal to all voters to come out in large numbers and make this festival of democracy a success. Remember to follow social distancing norms and wear a mask!" Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
In the final leg of the campaign for the Bihar assembly poll, Prime Minister Modi will wind up his election tour of Bihar as he will today address rallies in Forbesganj and Saharsa.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: "The valuable vote of every Bihari has brought the state out of the dark era of loot and crime and brought it on the golden path of development and good governance."
"Today, I appeal to all the voters of the second phase to strengthen democracy by voting in large numbers to maintain peace, prosperity and progress in the state," he added.
Polling began at 7 am on 94 assembly seats across 17 districts in the second phase of Bihar polls on Tuesday with precautionary measures against COVID-19 in place.
Over 2.86 crore voters are eligible to cast their vote in the second phase which is also the largest of three phases of assembly poll in the state.
There are 1,464 candidates in the fray including 46 from BJP, 43 from Janata Dal (United), 56 from Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and 24 from Congress.
Five candidates from the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), which is part of the NDA, are also in the fray. From Mahagathbandhan, three Left parties are contesting on 14 seats (CPI-ML six, CPI and CPM on four each).
Tejashwi, the chief ministerial candidate of Mahagathbandhan is contesting from Raghopur, while Tej Pratap, who is sitting MLA from Mahua, is contesting from Hasanpur.