CEC Sunil Arora speaking to reporters in Patna on Thursday. [Photo/ANI]
CEC Sunil Arora speaking to reporters in Patna on Thursday. [Photo/ANI]

Bihar polls: EC warns of misuse of social media to incite communal, caste violence

ANI | Updated: Oct 01, 2020 22:11 IST

Patna (Bihar) [India], October 1 (ANI): Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora on Thursday said that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the number of polling stations in Bihar for the Assembly elections has increased from 65,333 in 2015 to 1,06,526 in 2020.
"The Election Commission held elaborate meetings and decided to conduct the Bihar Assembly elections which were due before November 2020. The number of polling stations has increased from 65,333 in 2015 to 1,06,526 in 2020. This increase has resulted in more elaborate logistical arrangements," Arora said while addressing media persons here at a press conference.
"In the 2015 Assembly elections, there were 6.70 crore voters. This time 7.29 crore voters are there. Male voters have increased from 3.57 crore in 2015 to 3.85 crore voters in 2020. The female electors have also increased to 3.40 crore in 2020," he added.
The CEC further said that the coronavirus situation has changed the entire scenario not only in India but across the world. Virtual meetings have become the new normal. There is no comparison between the Rajya Sabha election and Assembly election, he added.
The election commission conducted elaborate discussions with the political parties and took cognizance of their views. We wrote to all the parties seeking to convey their suggestions regarding the elections.
"We also conducted meetings with central agencies regarding the conduct of elections. We went to Gaya today and surveyed the left-wing extremism affected areas before the election," he said.
"Several political parties requested that sufficient paramilitary forces should be deployed in areas where the weaker sections of the society are based so that they could vote in the elections. We have ensured a sufficient number of forces in these areas," he added.
Arora further said that concerns raised on the usage of social media during elections were also discussed by the commission and the commission will take action against those who misuse the platform.
"Regarding the misuse of social media, concerns have been raised. The Apex level association of social media had apprised the Election Commission about a code of ethics which they will abide by before the last Lok Sabha election. Our law regarding social media is not that strong as compared to Germany and the UK," he said.
"But if we get information about misuse of social media to incite communal or caste violence, we will take strong action," he added.
The CEC said that the commission will appoint special expenditure observers for Bihar elections - Madhu Mahajan and Balakrishnan. Even containment zone voters can cast their vote if they are COVID-19 negative, he added.
The assembly elections in Bihar will be held on October 28, November 3, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10. (ANI)