Bihar Elections: Everything About Seats, Voters & Caste Factors

Having a history of low voter turnout, here’s a look at some basic statistics ahead of Bihar Assembly elections.

Updated
Politics
2 min read
In the world’s first biggest electoral exercise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bihar is all set to go to polls in three phases in October and November.
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In one of the world’s biggest electoral exercises since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bihar is all set to go to polls in three phases in October and November.

While votes will be cast on 28 October, 3 and 7 November, the results will be declared on 10 November.

Having a history of low voter turnout, here’s a look at some basic statistics of the state.

Bihar Elections: Everything About  Seats, Voters & Caste Factors
Graphic: The Quint

Number of Voters

The total number of eligible voters for the 2020 elections are approximately 7.18 crore, out of which, 78 lakh will be first time voters. Over 4 crore voters are in the age group of 18-40.

Number of Seats

The Bihar Assembly has 243 seats, out of which 38 are reserved for SC/STs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of polling booths have been increased to 1,06,000.

The Caste Factor

Bihar Elections: Everything About  Seats, Voters & Caste Factors
Graphic: The Quint

Like any other election, cast will be one of the biggest factors in the Bilhar polls.

Unlike many states, there isn’t one caste whose votes dominate the ballots. Brahmins, Bhumihars, Rajputs and Kayasthas comprise of approximately 17.2 percent votes.

While the BJP and the JD(U) have their loyal votebanks, the RJD enjoys the popular support of 14.4 percent Yadavs and 14.7 percent Muslim votes in the state.

The other castes include Vaishyas (7.1 percent), Dalits (14.2 percent), Kurmis (5 percent), Koeris (6.4 percent) and Adivasis (1.5 percent).

The 2015 Election Statistics

Bihar Elections: Everything About  Seats, Voters & Caste Factors
Graphic: The Quint

The 2015 elections were contested by the BJP in alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, who were challenged by the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Lalu Yadav’s RJD and Congress.

The LJP won 2 out of the 42 seats it contested while the BJP won just 53 of the 157 seats it contested.

Out of the 101 seats that they each contested, the JD(U) won 71 while the RJD won 80 seats. The Congress won 27 out of the 41 seats it contested.

The BJP got 24.2 percent votes in 2015, while the RJD got 18.4 percent of the votes.

Come 2020, the Bihar elections will be contested amid one of history’s deadliest pandemics.

While the Election Commission has laid out social distancing guidelines and taken steps to decongest polling booths, the implementation of it on ground will certainly be a challenging task.

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