The Election Commission of India today announced the dates for upcoming assembly elections in four states and one union territory. The elections will be held in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry. The term of the current Assam assembly is up to 31st May, the term of Tamil Nadu is up to May 24, West Bengal assembly’s term will be over on May 30, while the same of Kerala will be over on 1st June.
Elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on 6th April, while the elections for West Bengal will be spread over eight phases, and it will be held in Assam in three phases in March and April. West Bengal will elections will span over a month, with the first phase on 27th March and the eighth phase on 29th April.
The counting of the votes will take place on 2nd May for all the assembly elections, which will be a Sunday.
|Assam||27 March, 1st April, 6th April|
|Tamil Nadu||6th April|
|West Bengal||27th March, 1st April, 6th April, 10th April, 17th April, 22nd April, 26th April, 29th April|
Elections will be conducted for 294 assembly constituencies in West Bengal, 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, constituencies seats in Kerala, 126 constituencies in Assam and 30 constituencies in the union territory of Puducherry.
This represents elections in a total of assembly 824 constituencies in the country, where 18.68 crore electorates will cast their votes at 2.74 lakh polling stations, all of which will be situated will be on the ground floor.
The elections this year will be a bigger affair, as the number of poll stations is being increased to avoid crowding in view of the Coronavirus pandemic. Along with that, the polling time will also be extended by one hour, which was also done during the Bihar elections.
During the recent weeks, the Election Commission officials had travelled the poll-bound states to take stock of the preparedness for the elections. Following the meeting with state administrations, the Election Commission had held a meeting on Wednesday to finalise the dates for the polls.
The elections this year will be a bigger affair, as the number of poll stations is being increased to avoid crowding in view of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it will be a big challenge in Kerala which has seen a big rise in cases in the recent weeks.
With the announcement of the election dates, the process of assembly election formally begins, and the model code of conduct will be applicable from today. This means, the governments in the polls bound states can’t take any major decision, and can’t announce any scheme that can influence the voters.
West Bengal will see the most high-profile in the elections, with Mamata Banerjee led TMC government facing strong competition from BJP. Several senior leaders of TMC have left the party and joined BJP, along with their support base. It is speculated that BJP may be able to repeat what happened in Assam and Tripura, where it had grabbed power following mass migration of politicians from the ruling parties.
Kerala will see another intense fight between the ruling left front and the Congress, who are otherwise allies in several other states. Tamil Nadu will witness the familiar fight between AIADMK and DMK, with DMK hoping to grab power after a decade.
BJP will hope to retain its power in Assam, where it faces opposition from Congress, AIUDF and several parties that came up in the last few months. But the party has done well in all the local body polls in recent months despite the opposition to the CAA, and it is expected that Sarbanandana Sonowal will be re-elected as the CM.
The Congress govt in Puducherry fell this week just months after the end of its term, after several MLAs from the ruling party resigned from the house. As a result, President’s rule has been imposed on the Union Territory and the assembly has been suspended.