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Elections in Assam, WB, TN, Kerala and Puducherry from March 27 to April 29, Results on May 2

Elections in Assam, WB, TN, Kerala and Puducherry from March 27 to April 29, Results on May 2

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Feb 26: The Election Commission on Friday announced the election schedule for the four states and the union territory of Puducherry to be held between March 27 and April 29 with the counting of votes in all the five states and UTs to be taken up on May 2.

In fact, barring for the last five phases of polling remaining in West Bengal which will go to the polls in eight phases, the polling for all the three phases in Assam and single phase elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the union territory of Puducherry would be completed by April 6. These states and the UT will have to wait till May 2 to know the outcome of the elections.

While West Bengal will go to polls in eight phases, Assam will see three-phase voting starting March 27. Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held on April 6.

Announcing the election schedule on Friday evening, the chief election commissioner Sunil Arora said a total of 824 assembly constituencies will be going for polls during the upcoming elections. “As many as 18.68 crore electors will cast vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry,” Arora said.

Polls are to be held for 294 seats in West Bengal, 234 seats in Tamil Nadu, 140 seats in Kerala, 126 seats in Assam and 30 seats in Puducherry. After the Bihar assembly elections, which were held in November 2020, elections to these states will also be held amid Coronavirus pandemic. The Election Commission is expected to implement a similar protocol for voting as applied in the Bihar elections including extended hour of polling, increasing number of polling booths and other necessary safety measures.

The byelections for two Parliamentary constituencies of Belgaum in Karnataka and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh will also be held on April 6.

The eight phase polling for the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held on March 27 and April 1, 6, 10, 17, 22, 26 and April 29. The three phase polling for the 126-member Assam Assembly will held on March 27 and April 1 and 6, while the polling for all the 234 seats in Tail Nadu, 140 seats in Kerala and 30 seats in the UT of Puducherry to be held in single phase on April 6.

Arora said the model code of conduct in all the four poll-bound states and Puducherry had come into force with immediate effect.

“Adequate CAPFs deployment shall be ensured during elections. All critical, vulnerable polling stations identified and an adequate number of CAPFs will be deployed,” Arora said.

In view of the prevailing pandemic, the ECI has issued certain guidelines for poll campaigning including door-to-door campaigning to be restricted to five persons including the candidate, Roadshows allowed, separate norms for suspected Covid-19 patients and that all polling officials to be vaccinated before the scheduled polling dates.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Trinamool Congress (TMC) are among the major political parties which will contest these elections in these four states and the Union territory. In Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK and the BJP have joined hands and the opposition DMK will fight the assembly election with the Congress once again. Mamata Banerjee-led TMC and the BJP will be fighting it out in West Bengal as the ruling party will look to retain the state with the central party confident of snatching away power.

Kerala will see the Left Democratic Front (LDF), which is led by the Communist Party of India(Marxist) or CPI(M), cross paths with the United Democratic Front (UDF) led by Congress These coalitions have held power in the southern state alternately over the last four decades. The LDF had won the 2016 Kerala assembly election as it won 91 out of 140 seats. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has an incumbent government in Assam with the party’s Sarbananda Sonowal as the chief minister. In the last assembly polls in 2016, the BJP formed its maiden government in the northeastern state after defeating the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

These will be the first set of assembly elections to be held in the country since those in Bihar in October-November last year and the second state polls amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.



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