Polling got underway in 94 constituencies of Bihar assembly on Tuesday morning in the second phase of elections which will decide the electoral fate of RJD leader and Mahagathbandhan’s chief ministerial face Tejashwi Yadav and more than 1,450 other candidates. The poll opened at 7 am but the time for its conclusion has been extended by one hour till 6 pm to facilitate COVID-19 patients and those with symptoms of the disease to exercise their franchise in the last hour. Polling will, however, conclude early in naxal-hit areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to electors to vote in large numbers while following social distancing norms and wearing a mask. “Make this festival of democracy successful by voting in large numbers. During the exercise, apart from maintaining social distancing, also wear a mask,” he tweeted in Hindi Tuesday morning. Lalu’s elder son Tejashwi Yadav also urged people to vote for better education, health, improvement in law and order, and a developed Bihar. “A change is necessary for building a new Bihar in a new era,” he tweeted in Hindi. Besides Tejashwi, his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav and four state ministers are also in the fray in this phase, which also features one transgender candidate, fielded by the LJP. Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv Sinha is also contesting the poll in this phase. Voting is simultaneously taking place for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat by-poll, which was necessitated by the death of sitting JD(U) lawmaker Baidyanath Mahto.
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